Thursday, August 01, 2013

Tropics Taking A Break For Now

The tropics have been relatively quiet the past couple of weeks and will continue to be so for a while. The last two storms that developed -- Chantal and Dorian -- ran headstrong into a hostile upper level environment in the western half of the Atlantic, thus unable to sustain and strength due to wind shear, dry air, and a generally unfavorable atmosphere.

If you look at the graphic below showing unfavorable and favorable upper level conditions across the tropics, the green areas are indicative of favorable conditions for tropical rains or tropical storms -- this includes the Indian basin and the Western Pacific. The brown are areas where unfavorable atmospheric conditions exist -- and that includes the western half of the Atlantic.

Unrelated to those unfavorable conditions in the Atlantic is the presence of a layer of dusty Saharan air kicking out into the Atlantic from Africa. This dry air layer will spend the next several days pushing west through the Atlantic. This dry air layer will suppress any tropical activity and prevent thunderstorms from organizing into tropical systems.

August marks the beginning of the active portion of the tropical season -- with the peak of the tropical season taking place around September 10th.  While August will start inactive in the tropical portion of the Atlantic, conditions will likely improve for tropical development as the month progresses and it's a matter of time before we see more storms develop.