Hole in central Atlantic ridge should keep Leslie away

Kirk and Leslie both headed out to sea

Kirk and Leslie both headed out to sea

It’s back. The seemingly permanent weakness or hole in the Atlantic ridge that has turned numerous hurricanes away from the United States since 2008. Obviously Isaac was able to sneak in underneath; as did Irene last year. But Leslie? It will not. The pattern is such that there will be a trough too far east over North America for Leslie to make it much past 60 W longitude.

With the forecast calling for Leslie to become a hurricane, it should still produce a few days of nice long period swells for surfers to enjoy. Any increase would be nice I suppose. But that should be the extent of it as the global models are firm now in showing a turn away from the U.S. with the track.

Kirk is also heading out farther in to the North Atlantic and will lose its tropical characteristics within a day or two as waters underneath its circulation gradually cool.

The rest of the tropics are quiet and even in the east Pacific there are no areas of concern this weekend.

I am back at home in North Carolina and will resume the daily video blog for our app. On Monday, I will have a longer write-up about Isaac as well as announce plans for our first DVD since 2008. Have a great weekend!

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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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95L poses no threat to land as tropics remain quiet

A non-tropical low pressure area, designated 95L, is the only area on the NHC’s tracking map worth noting this morning. It is located well out in the subtropical Atlantic, far from land areas. Even though it has gale force winds and some convective activity, it lacks a well organized warm core and is moving over progressively cooler sea surface temperatures. Even if it were to become a subtropical storm, it will continue to move to the northeast and not bother any land areas.

The rest of the tropical Atlantic through the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico are, for the most part, nice and quiet. There is a notable increase in convection in the Caribbean which is partly due to the favorable MJO pulse moving through coupled with a tropical wave passing across the region. There is some chance for this energy to eventually develop in the western Gulf of Mexico later this week but I see nothing to suggest a major problem.

In the east Pacific, a large disturbance is moving eastward not far off the coast of Mexico. It has some potential for additional development before moving inland over Mexico later this week, bringing with it more heavy rains for the region.

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