August 10 and little going on in the Atlantic

August 10, 2018 4:50 PM ET

We are almost 1/3 of the way through August and so far, the tropical Atlantic looks generally quiet. While there is an area of interest embedded within the ITCZ, there is still too much in the way of negative factors in play for it to develop.

However….slowly but surely the Atlantic Basin is beginning to stir. It’s nothing like last year when we saw 10 hurricane form in a row, mainly due to a warmer than average swath of ocean water between Africa and Central America. We all know what happened and so far, it looks like we won’t see a repeat. That being said, we have no way of knowing whether or not an impactful storm or hurricane will make its way towards land areas before all is said and done in November – but it looks doubtful that we will see anything like 2017.

Check out my latest video discussion, posted below, for an in-depth look at current conditions and what we will be watching for in the coming days.

M. Sudduth

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As we end July, the tropics look to remain quiet

Outside of Beryl and Chris, July has not delivered any major issues from the tropics – at least not in the form of any tropical storms or hurricanes. Dry, stable air over the tropical Atlantic has kept a lid on things and I do not see this changing anytime over the next several days.

In the east Pacific, this region too has been very quiet with no threats to Mexico at all during the entire month of July. Here too, I see no reason to think we will have any issues before the month is all said and done. However, a series of disturbances position well to the west of the Mexican coastline, far out in the east Pacific, shows signs of possible development but they will be moving away from land.

Once we get in to August, the tendency for the Atlantic to become active begins to increase quite a bit, especially as we move towards the latter half of the month. With things remaining nice and calm now, remember to use the time to get things done that can help you later: check your generator, make sure the family car is in good running order, etc. etc.

I cover these topics and more in my daily video discussion posted below.

M. Sudduth 2:45 PM ET July 26

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2018 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins

The fist 10 days of the official start to the season are usually quiet but we do need to watch the western Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the southwest Atlantic for signs of development as the month wears on.

The fist 10 days of the official start to the season are usually quiet but we do need to watch the western Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the southwest Atlantic for signs of development as the month wears on. Tap or click for full-size image.

As you know, we have already had a named storm – Alberto – even though it was outside of the normal window that we call “hurricane season”. It was also classified as being subtropical in its structure but I think that will be changed in post-season analysis. Does the presence of Alberto mean the season will be busier or more problematic than usual? Not really. Although, I am intrigued at how well it maintained itself, and even became better structured, while over land. Perhaps this gives us a glimpse in to the future of how other systems will behave near or inland over the United States this season. Something to consider but overall, Alberto was a product of the pattern, not a symptom that something is amiss as we enter the official start to the season.

The list of names we are using this year are the same ones from 2012 except for Sara which replaced Sandy for obvious reasons. The next name on the list this season will be Beryl followed by Chris, Debby, Ernesto and so on. The general consensus is that we will use between 12 and 14 names this season; we’ve already used one, so we shall see.

This time of the season, we usually look to the Gulf of Mexico, western Caribbean Sea or the southwest Atlantic for signs of development. The deep tropics, or what we call the Main Development Region, is almost never favorable in June due to higher pressures, lower SSTs and generally fast trade winds. It’s not until August that we typically watch the eastern Atlantic for development but you never know…there’s always a first time. For the most part, however, June is considered a slow month for Atlantic hurricane activity.

My plan this season is to continue to do what I have done for the better part of two decades: provide easy to understand, matter of fact updates about the tropics. If there’s nothing going on, then that’s what I will say. If I see something that worries me, I will say that too. In between, we will work on learning more together and I will use my 22 years experience to help you better understand not only what may or may not happen in the tropics, but also what to do about it should something head your way. We all have a role to play, it’s not up to the government to do it for us. I’ll help in what ever capacity that I can but will often refer you to other experts who know more than I do or who may have a different take on a certain aspect of what we’re dealing with. Preaching down to you as if I am beyond learning will never happen. When I stop learning, I will retire and write a nice long book. Until then, let’s get through the 2018 hurricane season together using the tools that we have and the collective trust that we have in each other.

Program note: this evening at 7:30 pm ET I will be live on my YouTube channel and hopefully on Facebook live as well to gather ’round the campfire, so to speak, and talk about the season. It will be like a gathering of friends, some old, some new, who have like-minded interests. In this case, it’s hurricanes and how we deal with them. I’ll have some tee shirts to give away plus a very special opportunity to own a piece of history. I will also take questions via email, Twitter, our own HurricaneTrack Insider chat, YouTube chat and (hopefully) Facebook comments. It should be fun which is what friends do when they get together. Hurricanes are tough, getting ahead of the curve shouldn’t be and it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom either. Weather is exciting and often beautiful – yet we know that tropical storms and hurricanes are dangerous, especially if not respected and understood. I think we can do a lot together and this evening we begin that journey. I call it “Day 1”. I’ll embed the YouTube feed here at 7:30 pm and will Tweet the link as well. Follow via YouTube and Facebook for instant notifications: search “hurricanetrack” and look for my logo.

M. Sudduth

8:35 AM ET June 1

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MJO taking a vacation so tropics will remain quiet

MJO current and forecast position by various computer models. Right now, the MJO is of little amplitude and is not contributing to tropical convection anywhere around the world.

MJO current and forecast position by various computer models. Right now, the MJO is of little amplitude and is not contributing to tropical convection anywhere around the world.

After the brief life-span of TS Chantal, the tropics are now quiet again. Part of the reason behind this is climatology: the tropics are generally very quiet during this period of July. The other reason is the MJO or Madden-Julian Oscillation. Think of the MJO as a period of fertility in the tropics. When the MJO is present, upward motion or tropical convection usually blooms and often leads to tropical cyclone formation during summer months. On the flip side, when the dry phase of the MJO rolls around, the air is converging and sinking, not allowing much tropical convection to occur. While it’s possible to have tropical cyclones form during the dry phase of the MJO, experience shows that a favorable MJO pulse often leads to the development of tropical storms and hurricanes. Right now, the MJO for the Atlantic Basin is taking some time off.

In fact, the MJO is not really amplified anywhere across the globe at the moment and as such, the tropics world-wide are generally quiet. There is one area of growing convection in the west Pacific that has a chance of developing in the coming days but that’s it. Without an amplified MJO pulse, it looks like the next several days at least will be nice and quiet. I see nothing of concern within the global models over the next week to 10 days. Once we get in to August, climatology begins to shift and it is possible that another favorable MJO pulse will coincide with that shift and things should be quite busy later in the month. For now, enjoy the calm conditions while they last.

M. Sudduth

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As peak of season nears, no major impacts expected

Atlantic Hurricane Season Climatology

Atlantic Hurricane Season Climatology

We are almost to the half-way point of the hurricane season, at least from a climatological perspective. Over the past 100 years of all tropical cyclones, it seems that September 10 is the tip of iceberg and this year, it will be no different. We have two named storms out there with Leslie and Michael as well as a new area of interest, 91L, just off the coast of Africa. The peak of the season will indeed be a busy one this year.

However, the impacts from all of this activity will likely be minimal. Leslie is still struggling and should pass Bermuda well to the east, bringing only passing showers and a few squalls at most. Of course, the surf will be up, but that’s the extent of it and certainly great news for Bermuda. It also looks like Newfoundland will escape any major impacts from Leslie as the forecast for track and intensity are much more favorable than what it looked like a few days ago.

The rest of the tropics are busy but I do not see any threats to land from anything over the next five days at least. In fact, the MJO is quite unfavorable right now which means sinking, converging air over much of the western Atlantic Basin. We should see a nice quiet period before things ramp up again towards the last half of the month.

I’ll have more here tomorrow. Be sure to check the HurricaneTrack app for today’s video blog which covers all of the above-mentioned info. Don’t have our app? Get it now from the app store.

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