Tropics Could Get More Active Later This Month

The Weather Authority

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins the ramp-up to peak activity in August and September. The next five days look quiet, but the larger-scale, global atmospheric drivers signal a change to new development in the Atlantic by mid-August. In the short-term, that means we see no immediate or obvious threats to the Gulf Coast at least the next week to ten days. There is an area near Cabo Verde that has a low chance of development over the next 5 days, but this won’t pose any issues to the Gulf Coast.

While things have been a bit quiet recently, we’re still above average in Accumulated Cyclone Energy (A.C.E.) for the season so far in the North Atlantic.

We would get back to average in the basin if we get no activity through August 15, but there are signs we may see a bit of activity by the middle of the month as the Madden-Julian oscillation’s (a global “pulse” that helps produce more rising motion and thunderstorms in the atmosphere near the equator) enhanced phase moves into the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Basins.

The Madden-Julian Oscillation can enhance or suppress tropical development as the disturbance moves around the world. Photo from climate.gov (NOAA)
The Madden-Julian Oscillation is and eastward propagating wave that can enhance or suppress storms, and can often enhance tropical development. Source: NOAA

As the MJO swings into a more favorable phase for tropical activity in the Atlantic later this month, things may get a bit more active, but there’s a lot of dry, dusty air in the Atlantic Basin right now, and it’s possible that could help suppress tropical activity.

I’d expect a bit more to monitor from the tropics later this month, but certainly it’s possible that the Saharan Air Layer could help keep things from getting too crazy if it’s still as thick and widespread as it is now.

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