La Niña conditions are currently in place and are expected to last through the summer months. This pattern is caused by stronger trade winds over the eastern Pacific. These stronger winds result in a less favorable environment for tropical development in the Pacific.
While the Pacific sees an increase in wind shear and a reduction in tropical cyclone formation, the Atlantic typically has less wind shear. Making for a more favorable environment for tropical storm formation.
Wind shear in the tropics can tear apart areas of developing thunderstorms that could become tropical cyclones. With reduced wind shear during a La Niña, there is a chance that more storms could develop in the Atlantic during this upcoming tropical season.
Although wind shear can play a large part in the development of tropical cyclones, it is not the only factor that can impact tropical systems. Saharan dust can also play a limiting role in the development of tropical cyclones.
Saharan dust, or the dusty, dry layer of air that can blow off of Africa, can travel all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. This dusty, dry air chokes off the development of storms in the ocean. If the storm can not move out of the area of dry, dusty air, it may be significantly weakened, or even dissipate.
With only days to go until the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, time will only tell how active this upcoming season will be. The Weather Authority will be here through the season, keeping you updated on the tropics.