The atmospheric conditions in the tropical Atlantic continue to inhibit the development of tropical systems. Saharan dust and unfavorable upper winds range from the Gulf across to Africa.
This weekend, a weak front will stall in the northern Gulf of Mexico and across the Southeast. We’ll watch to be sure nothing spins up in that zone of disturbed weather. It appears unlikely, and in any case, it would not affect South Florida.
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Tropical disturbances – technically tropical waves – have been moving off of Africa as we would expect in the heart of hurricane season, but so far the atmosphere has not allowed them to develop. A robust wave which just crossed the African coast is about a week away from our vicinity. The long-range computer forecast models do not show it organizing, but we’ll keep an eye on that.
Otherwise there is no indication of any development in the tropics.
Fifteen years ago today, Category 4 Hurricane Charley hit Southwest Florida near Punta Gorda, just north of Fort Myers. People there were very surprised. The consensus was that Charley was going to hit Tampa. That was even though Southwest Florida was in the cone and the odds of a hurricane coming within 75 miles were higher in Fort Myers that morning than Tampa. The fact that the national media, the governor, and all of the publicity were focused on Tampa was a big part of the problem. Charley taught us not to let our guard down until the storm is clearly past.