Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Pushing Towards A Slow Starting Record

Since the satellite and recon era started around 1960, there have been only three years where the tropics have failed to produce a hurricane by this point. While there are three systems that the National Hurricane Center is monitoring, two of them relatively close to us and a third near Africa, none of them are in any hurry to develop into anything tropical of note.

It's been a slow slog of a season -- not that any of us are complaining given we had two bad tropical (quasi-tropical in Sandy) systems over the last two years. While model hype had continued the promise of development for weeks on end, such a reality has been a near fruitless ordeal, with just Tropical Storm Fernand's quick development a week ago in the Bay of Campeche the only thing separating us from a total shutout.

The two features nearest to North America have issues that they are facing that will hinder development. The system closest, near the Yucatan peninsula, will work over land and that should slow its slow development over the coming days. It is possible that is organizes into something over the Bay of Campeche later this week but modeling suggests a track into Mexico for it.  The second system, farther east over the Windward and Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, has been trying to organize for the past couple of days. Its main opponent is the presence of dry air and a relatively stable atmosphere around the cluster of thunderstorms.

This system's slow movement over the coming days suggests we'll need to keep an eye on it -- as modeling does put this entity on a west and northwest track towards the north of Hispaniola late this week, working into a more favorable environment for development.

The GFS, and to a lesser extent the Euro, suggest some development is possible later this week with the Caribbean system and a tropical storm may result. However, most guidance suggests an eventual turn to the north with the entity and an unlikely impact on the East Coast.

For those keeping score at home, the latest first hurricane in a season was back in 1905 -- before the advent of satellite technology -- on October 8th.  This year is also the first season since 2002 where we've skated through August without a hurricane developing.  You can thank the presence of dry air in the Atlantic and a stable environment through the tropics as the drivers for a slow season so far. While modeling has continued to suggest things eventually perk up, the dry air factor has been one to put the brakes on that development to this point.