WRUF Weather

[8/20] 10-Day Tropical Outlook: Quiet again, but season’s peak still weeks away

Five named storms are in the books, but none of them have packed much of a punch or reached hurricane strength.  While the season has been more active than normal so far, the persistent presence of dry air and strong winds aloft have mitigated the overall impact from the early season storms.  History tells us that this will likely change in the coming weeks, and respected forecasters still generally agree that this will be an active season with a higher-than-normal probability for a hurricane to hit the United States. Some forecasters have even gone as far as to project a later than normal peak to this year’s season, a conclusion drawn from the current unusual summer weather pattern in place across the eastern half of the nation.

TAKEAWAY POINTS

  • Dry air and wind shear continue to mitigate impact or prevent development
  • Forecast consensus is still for an active season with possible later than normal peak
  • 10-Day forecast is for little or no development through August 25, with low chances for cyclone formation thereafter
Tuesday’s satellite and water temperatures across the Atlantic basin.

Water Vapor and satellite imagery Tuesday continued to suggest a large area of dry air and higher pressure was lingering over much of the central Atlantic, suppressing thunderstorm development typically associated with tropical waves that frequently move off of the coast of western Africa this time of year.   Moisture has been more plentiful in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, but faster winds aloft continue to create an environment too hostile for anything to form.  Water temperatures cooler than ideal for tropical cyclone formation were still observed in the eastern Atlantic this week, and this has also been a contributing factor to the dissipation of recent storms (namely Dorian and Erin).

CARIBBEAN AND GULF

Little or no development is anticipated over the next 10 days, despite the likely presence of deeper moisture surging northward from the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone) near the equator.  Wind shear will be increasing across much of the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida peninsula over the coming days as another unusually deep are of low pressure aloft surges down the East Coast.  A surface front stalling across the region will need to be closely monitored early next week, but long range model data is not currently suggesting anything tropical in nature would spin up.  So while unsettled conditions and above normal rainfall is a distinct possibility for many water and land areas of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico over the next 10 days, tropical cyclone development of anything significant seems highly unlikely through August 30.

TROPICAL ATLANTIC

No development is expected over the next five days, and there is only a low chance for cyclone development in the eastern or central Atlantic next week.  Dry air and wind shear are still gripping much of the Atlantic Ocean again, forcing nearly every tropical wave to dissipate or weaken.  Forecast data continues to suggest the dry air will be eroding over the coming days as the African-born waves grow stronger.  A few of the reliable forecast models also indicate a wave next week (August 26-30) could develop into a tropical cyclone as it moves away from the Cape Verde Islands.  Forecast confidence is quite low, however, on whether the system would be able to move all the way across the big pond and pose a significant threat to any land areas.  Dorian and Erin both had trouble with this journey due to the aforementioned dry air and wind shear. 

 

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