Talking the Tropics With Mike: Strong tropical wave moves off Africa

Celia over the E. Pacific

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REMEMBER WHEN A TROPICAL STORM OR HURRICANE IS APPROACHING: Taping windows is *NOT* helpful & will not keep glass from breaking.

Realize the forecast cone (”cone of uncertainty”) is the average forecast error over a given time - out to 5 days - & *does not* indicate the width of the storm &/or damage that might occur.


* A nontropical low is forming over the W. Atlantic - well offshore of Chesapeake Bay/the Mid Atlantic. The low will move northward then turn northeast while remaining nontropical & offshore of the U.S. east coast.

* A pretty strong tropical wave has come off the coast of Africa & will move westward but little development is expected at this point... at least through the weekend. But conditions for development do appear more favorable next week once the wave has traversed a large plume of African dust & dry mid & upper level air. Right now... the track seems to be of low latitude taking whatever might develop to near the coast of S. America by mid to late next week then over the far Southern Caribbean. Such a track would imply no impacts on NE Fl./SE Ga. ... or any of Florida... & probably not any of the Gulf Coast. Of course, still early on this one. It is worth noting early season African waves are often a harbinger of an active season.

* 50 years ago this week - one of the few June hurricanes to make a U.S. landfall came ashore on June 19, 1972 near Panama City, FL as Cat. 1 “Agnes” developing into a flooding disaster for parts of the Eastern U.S. as far north as New York. The hurricane produced flooding & tornadoes across Florida & Agnes remains one of the costliest U.S. disasters on record.

Wind shear analysis shows winds out of the west at more than 50 mph! over parts of the Southern Gulf & N. Caribbean:

The location of development of tropical systems in June since 1851 generally favors the NW Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico & far Western Atlantic:

Saharan dust is spread west each year from Africa by the prevailing winds (from east to west over the Atlantic). Dry air - yellow/orange/red/pink. Widespread dust is indicative of dry air that can impede the development of tropical cyclones. However, sometimes “wanna’ be” waves will just wait until they get to the other side of - or away from - the plume then try to develop if other conditions are favorable. In my personal opinion, way too much is made about the presence of Saharan dust & how it relates to tropical cyclones. In any case, we’ve already has a couple of dust plumes spread west to the Caribbean & Gulf with the peak of Saharan dust typically in June & July.

2022 names..... “Alex” was the first name on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years... “Bonnie” is next. Historic storms are retired [Florence & Michael in ’18... Dorian in ’19 & Laura, Eta & Iota in ‘20 & Ida in ‘21]). The WMO decided - beginning last year - that the Greek alphabet will be no longer used & instead there will be a supplemental list of names if the first list is exhausted (has only happened three times - 2005, 2020 & 2021). The naming of tropical cyclones began on a consistent basis in 1953. More on the history of naming tropical cyclones * here *.

East Atlantic:

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content over the Gulf, Caribbean & deep tropical Atlantic:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:


GFS wave forecast at 48 & 72 hours (2 & 3 days):

Atlantic Basin wave period forecast for 24, 48 & 72 hours respectively:

The East Pacific:

Poorly organized & highly sheared “Celia” continues over the far East Pacific well south & west of Mexico. As long as Celia can survive the shear, some intensification is likely over the open E. Pacific in the short term before sea surface temps. decrease along with less mid & upper level moisture leading to a weakening trend early next week. In any case... no impact to land areas.

West Pacific IR satellite:

Global tropical activity:

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