NOAA Hurricane Forecast Updated Heading into Peak of Storm Season
This is August. Typically it's a month that sees school children heading back to school, football teams preparing for their fall seasons, and there's also an increase in activity in the tropical Atlantic basin. August 2021 is checking all of those boxes as we are now five days into the month.
While we can't predict what kind of school year your child might have or how well your favorite football team will do, we can say that tropical activity is certainly on the increase.
After a quick start to the 2021 Hurricane Season that actually saw a named storm before the season officially began things have been rather quiet in the tropics. So far the season has had five named storms. The most recent being Hurricane Elsa which slipped into the Gulf of Mexico in early July and brought an abundance of rain to the Florida peninsula and the southeastern United States.
Since Elsa's demise, the tropical Atlantic Basin has been rather quiet, up until now. Currently, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring two areas of disturbed weather. Both of those weather systems are in the far eastern Atlantic. They're closer to Africa than they are to the easternmost islands of the Caribbean. That's how far away they are.
The system that is the furthest west has been given a 20% probability of strengthening into a tropical cyclone over the next five days. Its forecast track does show the potential to brush the Windward Islands over the next few days if it continues to hold itself together.
The system that is just about to roll off of the African continent has been given a better prognosis for development. Forecasters with the Hurricane Center say that system has a 50% probability of becoming a tropical cyclone between now and the beginning of next week.
The anticipated track of that system does suggest a westward motion over that time period. Whether or not the system will swing north into the open Atlantic or stay on a westward track cannot be made with any certainty at this time. However, the system will need to be watched.
NOAA Hurricane Specialists recently updated their pre-season forecast by suggesting the season will remain above average but should not be nearly as busy as the record-breaking Hurricane Season of 2020. That season was responsible for 30 named storms, five of which made landfall in Louisiana.
While forecasters are monitoring conditions in the Pacific Ocean that actually affect tropical cyclone formation in the Atlantic there is good news as far as sea surface temperatures are concerned.
Those temperatures are near normal as opposed to slightly above normal as they were in 2020. Those slightly cooler waters and a nice plume of dust from the Sahara Desert are what have been keeping the 2021 season quiet, at least for most of July. However, it does appear as if those conditions are changing. So, we will just have to sit and wait and watch as Mother Nature does her thing to transfer heat from one part of the ocean to another.
Meanwhile, as you contemplate the heat and humidity of the day, let's think inside thoughts, shall we?
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