Sea surface temps are on the warm side as per the below data that comes from the Multiscale Ultrahigh Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (MUR SST) project, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Even though we had a busy season, it does not necessarily mean a busy season for the overall Hurricane season. The peak of the season comes during the first 2 weeks of September and the Cape Verde season hasn’t even begun yet…. so it could get interesting later this summer…..
It is one of those seasons where the we have a busier early season then we go through dry spell. The dry spell can be followed by a very active August, September and even October before the season ends on a quiet note in November. The current expectation is for as many as 19 named storms over the Atlantic, but the air across the Atlantic has been on the dry side. The cause of the drier air is part of the sand moving west across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa.
The may be a developing La Nina across the eastern Pacific. As it develops lighter westerly winds across the Atlantic Ocean could ease. If the winds can ease and the dry air gives way to increased thunderstorm activity. A developing La Nina will help produce lighter westerly winds and this should allow for more favorable conditions to allow tropical depressions/storms and Hurricanes to form. We have yet to see a Major Hurricane yet, but if conditions become more favorable through the coming months, we could get more than one major Hurricane.
Did you hear…. late this morning (July 4th) The National Hurricane Center upgraded an area of convection SW of Bermuda to Tropical Depression 5. The area is not well organized and is borderline, very borderline, tropical depression. Take a look at the latest satellite data. There has been no real change in the structure of TD/5
The latest data does not support the further development of TD/5 and it should remain a TD before it starts to weaken and eventually becomes post tropical. There are no other suspect areas of convection, but I have to wonder why the NHC decided to make the area of convection a tropical depression.
The overall pattern across the Atlantic is not favorable for wide spread development of any area across the Atlantic at this time. However with time, we will see the development of more suspect areas of convection as upper level winds will ease, moisture at the lower/upper levels of the atmosphere will increase and tropical cyclone development will occur.
I can’t remember the last time the tropical western Pacific Ocean has been so quiet. The last Tropical Cyclone was TS Nuri that first formed east of the Philippines on June 10th that slowly worked its way across the Philippines to the East China Sea through June 15th. Since then, there have been no official tropical cyclones across the entire western Tropical Pacific Ocean. Odd, very odd.
However, we are playing with borrowed time. As time goes on through July, there is an increasing probability that convection will form, deepen and eventually become a tropical cyclone across the tropical western Pacific.
As long as the upper level winds do not tear the convection apart. So, even though the western tropics are very quiet, I suspect once we get the first one, we will see a steady trend of tropical cyclones forming that will continue through the Fall.