Trouble In The Tropics, How Concerned Should You Be?

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Inevitably lots of hype surrounds this time of the year due to being in the heart, or peak, of Hurricane Season. My forecast, along with probably everybody else's, outlined an above average season in terms of tropical development and activity. Typically speaking August 15th through September 15th marks the period of time where tropical storm and hurricane frequency is at the max due to the abundance of very warm water available. 

While it did not impact us directly, as thought, Hurricane Gert churned up the surf along the coast for the past couple days. Gert is now the first official Hurricane in the Atlantic Basin this season. He was also the strongest storm of the season as well packing winds at over 100mph as of Thursday morning. 7 named storms so far, and probably several more coming down the pipeline. 

On social media I outlined my concern with what I call the "African Wave Train". It's very important to watch the west coast of Africa this time of the year because that is where most tropical systems get their humble beginnings. Now I know when you see "wave" you probably think wave as in ocean wave, right? A wave in meteorology is a an atmospheric disturbance that has potential to blossom into something bigger and stronger. Clusters of thunderstorms that are disorganized move over VERY warm water and begin to circulate around an area of low pressure that develops and then BAM... you've got a Tropical Depression > Tropical Storm > Hurricane. 

Now keep in mind, not every wave that travels through that area of the world is going to become a full fledged organized storm. There are many factors that go into the development of these systems. Dry air, presence of high pressure, wind shear etc. But it is very important to keep a close eye on what's going on. Typically we don't look for any substantial development until a disturbance is at the "half way point" in the Atlantic. 60 degrees longitude west. If something makes it that far, it is likely to develop. 

So what's going on out there right now? My oh my, things look juicy! Here's a snapshot from the National Hurricane Center showing 3 areas of interest. The red "X" is already a Tropical Depression. The other two to the east of that one are still unorganized but will likely develop in the coming days. 

Potential Tracks for these systems?

Tropical Depression 9: This storm will present NO threat to the continental US. It will likely carry through the Caribbean. 

Invest 92L: This one has some potential. It looks to stay WELL north of where Tropical Depression 9 goes. Still about a WEEK left to watch it though. Highly dependent on where High pressure is an if there is another trough that sets up in the east that could pull it towards the US. No immediate concern though. 

The third area of interest is still too young to really get any good data on. So, no. I don't think there's any concern, at least right now. That could change in the next week to 10 days, but that's weather. Of course I will be right here with you to keep you one step ahead of it all!