New depression forms in the Atlantic, could impact the Azores in a few days

NHC Track Map for TD 8

NHC Track Map for TD 8

Even though it is August 15 and the tropics have some activity, we are not seeing anything out in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico that looks to be of great concern over the coming days.

The NHC did upgrade 93L to TD8 a short time ago and is forecasting it to become a tropical storm as it heads generally towards the Azores Islands in a few days. The depression is within a fairly high surface pressure environment and its deep convection is very limited right now. However, it is situated over warm water, warm enough to allow it to develop anyway, and environmental conditions should allow for a tropical storm to form before the entire system moves over cooler waters.

I will also be watching the western Gulf of Mexico over the next few days as the remnant energy from TD7 moves across Central America and spreads in to the southern and western Gulf. There is some potential in this region for development as the tropical wave settles in and finds better conditions in which to develop. I covered this on the video blog today inside the HurricaneTrack app, a regular daily feature for owners of the app. Elsewhere, the tropics are nice and quiet and even the east Pacific is without any significant areas of development at this time.

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Window of opportunity for development approaching? We shall see

MJO Impact Forecast for 8/15 - 8/21

MJO Impact Forecast for 8/15 - 8/21

A look at the tropics this morning reveals that conditions just aren’t very favorable for development. What’s new, right? This seems to be the norm as of late as dry, stable air has been the dominate negative factor across much of the Atlantic Basin. Things may be about to change.

I was reading the latest forecast for the MJO or Madden-Julian Oscillation from the Climate Predication Center and there is a chance that a more favorable pattern is about to set up in the coming days. Basically, an increase in upper level divergence and in tropical convection is forecast for a good deal of the central Atlantic week after next. As you can see on the cropped image that I have embedded in today’s blog, the red areas indicate a high probability of tropical cyclone formation – according to the CPC analysis. As the enhanced phase of the MJO moves our of the east Pacific and across the Atlantic, we may begin to see an increase in development chances next week. However, there is enough uncertainty in the model forecasts for the MJO and how much of an influence it will have on the region that we’ll have to just wait and see if this actually happens.

Since we are also moving deeper in to the climatological peak time of the hurricane season, the chances of development go up anyway. It may be only a matter of time and we’ll see the dry air shrinking as more unstable, moisture-laden air moves in and provides a more fertile environment for tropical storm formation. There’s no way to know for sure so we’ll just have to monitor conditions as they slowly evolve towards the end of the month.

The one certainty for the short term is that there are no areas of immediate concern to deal with anywhere in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Even the east Pacific is quieting down which is usually an indication that the Atlantic is about to become more active. Time will tell.

Click here to view the full graphic mentioned above from the CPC website.

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Atlantic virtually dormant while east Pac keeps churning them out

Wow, things could not be much more quiet than they are now across the Atlantic Basin. I see no areas of significant convection that show any signs of development over the next few days. This certainly spells great news for coastal locations all over the Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Now keep in mind that climatology suggests that it is towards the end of August and obviously through September that the tropics normally ramp up. We’ll see just how close to climatology we are as we move through the next few weeks. For now, enjoy the quiet.

In the east Pacific, the storms just keep coming off what seems like an assembly line. Right now, there is TS Hector which poses no threat to land and a new area of slowly organizing convection near the coast of Mexico that is destined to develop. This system (actually labeled as 95E) could run parallel to the Mexican coastline in the days ahead, bringing heavy rains and squally conditions to the region. We’ll have to watch it closely this week since it is already impacting land and could continue to do so. I’ll have more here tomorrow, including a look at the growing El Nino, SST anomalies and what the long range models are showing as we move in to the traditional heart of the hurricane season. I’ll also have an update on our iPhone app which has an update due out soon that will add new tracking maps and add some ease-of-use enhancements.

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Tropics not very active this weekend on the Atlantic side

Water Vapor Image Showing the Dry Air Across the Atlantic

Water Vapor Image Showing the Dry Air Across the Atlantic

Despite the recent flurry of activity which included hurricane Ernesto, the Atlantic Basin is fairly quiet this weekend. It seems that quite an abundance of dry air remains in place across much of the tropical Atlantic and this is precluding any significant development. Even the long range computer models are not showing much change in the next week to 10 days. This is not uncommon for this time of year and it may not be until near the end of the month that we see conditions become more supportive for sustained and/or vigorous development.

In the east Pacific, the remnants of Ernesto have in fact made it over Mexico and have re-developed in to TD 8-E (the “E” is for east Pacific of course). The forecast calls for it to become a hurricane as it tracks away from Mexico through the weekend and in to early next week.

So enjoy the weekend without any worries in the tropics.

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TD7 not much of a threat while Ernesto will live on…in the east Pacific

Conditions across the tropical Atlantic are just not very favorable right now. There is simply too much mid-level dry air and pockets of unfavorable upper level winds are widespread. For these reasons, it looks as though, once again, the global models will be correct in forecasting what will likely turn out to be a very weak system in TD7.

Looking at the latest satellite photos, there is very little convection and the envelope of energy with the depression is fairly small. As the NHC noted on their early morning discussion, this makes it vulnerable to effects such as dry air and shear more so than a larger, more potent circulation would. I do not see TD7 being much of a problem for anyone unless of course there is a sudden and unexpected change in the environmental conditions ahead of it. I doubt it.

Meanwhile, something remarkable is going to happen. Think about this…the tropical wave that became hurricane Ernesto has traveled from Africa, all the way across the tropical Atlantic, through the gauntlet of the eastern Caribbean Sea, made landfall twice in Mexico and is now poised to emerge in the east Pacific where it can live another day. That’s right, Ernesto, or at least a bulk of its energy, is about to finish quite an incredible trek across the mountainous terrain of Mexico to cross in to the east Pacific. Now, it will not be named Ernesto if it does in fact regenerate, which is very likely to happen. Instead, it will take on the next name of the east Pacific, Hector. It is quite rare to have a tropical cyclone cross over land from one distinct basin to another. What’s even more interesting about this, there is a possibility that the regenerated system could eventually affect the Baja region. Who would have thought this to be the case a week ago or more when we were tracking something that, at one point, could have ended up making landfall anywhere from Florida to Texas. Now, it’s eventual final landfall could easily be along the Pacific coast of Mexico. Needless to say, folks in that region need to monitor what happens and I’ll post updates about it here along with video blogs in our HurricaneTrack app throughout the upcoming weekend.

The remainder of the Atlantic is somewhat busy with invest area 93L off the coast of Africa. Here again we see that conditions are only marginal for development and the global models show next to nothing over the next week to 10 days anywhere in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf. I am not sure if it’s climatology (i.e. we are simply still just a little too early in the season to see prolific, sustained development) or if something else is going on related to the growing El Nino in the Pacific. I’ll take a closer look in today’s video blog to be posted in our app this afternoon. What ever the reason, it’s great news for coastal dwellers who will not have to deal with any hurricanes this weekend for sure and probably all of next week as well.

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