Hurricane Season: Month 3
The relatively quiet year so far may switch to a slightly more active pattern if long-range models are accurate. Depicted above are the typical tracks for tropical activity in August. It is normally during this month that waves forming off the West coast of Africa develop as they trek westward over warm Atlantic ocean water. They move that way because they are steered by a large high pressure cell parked in the Atlantic. Already, there is one such weak system that has emerged. It is tracked with identifier 94L. Here are some very preliminary estimates of its possible trajectory:
The big question this year is whether the growing El Nino will squelch these kinds of systems. Warmer equatorial water half a world away tends to divert jet stream patterns resulting in increased upper-level winds in the Atlantic. Think of it this way: imagine starting a fire in a fireplace. El Nino’s increased jet-stream winds is like putting a lid on the chimney. So instead of rising, the smoke gets stuck and eventually, the fire goes out.
This summer in the U.S., there continues to be the odd pattern of cool fronts sweeping across the Ohio River valley. Those fronts push storms through the southeast which have wound up in the Gulf of Mexico. Occasionally, some of these have the potential of developing into tropical systems if the upper-air pattern is favorable. More importantly, the fronts could be a good shield for the east coast, shoving any approaching tropical system away if the timing is right.
Currently, long range computer models suggest that there could be several of these waves over the next 10 to 15 days. Here is what could develop by Monday morning August 12:
From experience, I know that these kinds of projections this far out, may not resemble anything like what happens. More importantly for me is looking for repeatable patterns. So, if the model consistently develops these waves, then there could be something to it.
Stay tuned and if you live along a coast, be prepared.