A wind shift for South Florida while a dust belt controls the tropics

Disturbances form over Africa.
Disturbances form over Africa. (CIRA/RAMMB)

The general flow of air over South Florida will be off the ocean for the foreseeable future, which will break the relentless heat. The water around Florida and through the Bahamas is still warmer than normal, so it’s not like a switch will be thrown, but as the breeze picks up, the ocean will be stirred up and the temperatures overall should moderate a bit.

An easterly flow off the ocean generally produces night and morning storms on the east coast and afternoon storms inland and on the west coast.

Embedded in that flow – which will extend all the way across the Atlantic from Africa to Florida – are moisture and wind surges, which are generally related to each other. The first one is expected late tomorrow into Saturday, and then another early next week. They will increase the cloudiness and the chance of thunderstorms as they pass by.

Computer forecast of where the moisture surges will be Saturday. (TropicalTidbits.com)

The computer forecast model shows the moisture (in green) passing by on Saturday, and another patch coming along for Tuesday.  It also shows a big patch associated with a disturbance near Africa. The brown areas are dry air in the mid-levels of the atmosphere, much of it caused by Saharan Dust.

These surges are disturbances that have moistened a patch in the continuous flow of Saharan Dust over the tropical Atlantic. In the next couple of weeks, those disturbances will increasingly originate over Africa, where robust disturbances are already being generated. As long as the dust covers the tropical ocean, however, these so-called tropical waves can’t organize once they leave the African land mass.

If things go true to form, and there is no reason to think they won’t, we’ll slowly see less dust over the ocean, so disturbances moving west have more chance to organize. This scenario will become more likely as we move into August.

But for now, no tropical development is expected well into next week. 


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