Submitted by: Daniel Crawley (@SoApps1979)
Good Tuesday evening, we are taking a look at the tropics in this briefing and quite honestly the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been very lackluster to this point in terms of impacts especially here in the United States. However we are now entering the yearly peak of the hurricane season and there is reason to believe that activity could be on an uptick as we head into the first of September…which is all right on cue.
So far there have been a total of five named tropical systems in the Atlantic Basin: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debbie and Ernesto. The first storm, Alberto was classified as a sub-tropical storm as it developed in the Gulf of Mexico and moved into the inland Southeast US. Alberto was a huge player in our weather locally as it provided excessive rainfall which resulted in significant flooding and landslides to areas along the Blue Ridge on May 29-30.
The four named storms since then have been storms that have mainly remained out-to-sea. Chris did brush parts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia with wind and waves but no direct impact…
Dry air, strong westerly winds aloft and Sahara dust has played a big role in providing a hostile environment in tropical cyclone development to this point but some of that appears to be changing. A look at the visible satellite of the Atlantic Basin late this afternoon shows some cloudiness and disturbed weather between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. While it does not look very impressive right now on satellite, the region nearby and out ahead of the feature does contain a good amount of high moisture content throughout the atmosphere. This will help allow the feature to at least keep a pulse as it approaches the Island through the end of the work week.
Computer models over the past couple days have started to hook on to the idea that some tropical development may take place with current features in the basin and more waves that will be moving off the African Coastline over the next 2-3 weeks and possibly beyond that. This initial feature is now being acknowledged by guidance as slowly developing by the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Once we get to Saturday, the models show energy in the mid levels crossing the Island and into Hispanola. Then by Labor Day itself, we could begin to see a more organized feature moving through the Turks and Caicos. The European model is the most bullish of the global models however the GFS is slowly coming around to the same idea.
The models also have some ensemble support as well, as you can see on the European it has probabilities of tropical cyclone development at near 50/50 by early next week. Also notice on the ensemble additional probabilities with subsequent waves in the Tropical Atlantic.
All of these things coming together at this point is a big “if” but considering how mundane things have been in recent weeks, we do have at least something to monitor and keep in the back of our minds for the holiday weekend. Good news is for the Carolina Coastline is that high pressure aloft should be firmly in place meaning no impact expected. This ultimately will be of interest to Florida and possibly the Gulf of Mexico.
We’ll watch it and provide updates later this week if we see additional support for development.