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Claudette fades out and the Atlantic disturbance has tough sledding ahead

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The system that was Claudette is now just a typical North Atlantic low-pressure area well off the coast of New England. It will jet off into storm oblivion in the cold north over the next day or two, although it will pass over Atlantic Canada as a weakened system on the way.

Claudette was a surprisingly consequential storm from where it came ashore in Louisiana across the Southeast with flooding rain and wind damage, including from several significant tornadoes. Many of the deaths reported were from traffic accidents, a lesson for all of us. Driving in extreme tropical rain is very dangerous.

In the Atlantic, there’s a disorganized tropical disturbance several hundred miles east of the Caribbean Islands. The National Hurricane Center is giving it a slight chance of developing into at least a tropical depression over the next couple of days. Right now, it’s mostly just a blob of tropical moisture.

It appears to have a short window of time to pull itself together, if it’s going to happen. Once the system reaches the islands late Thursday or on Friday, the upper-level winds are forecast to become hostile to development, so that should be it.

In general, the environment ahead of the system does not appear supportive for development, so most likely it will pass through the Caribbean as simply a moisture surge.

Next week, it appears that the broad low-pressure system over Central America – the so-called Central American Gyre – will reappear. Recall that this was one of the ingredients that spawned Claudette last week along with a similar tropical disturbance to the one we’re watching now.

We’ll keep an eye out to see if the combination comes together again, which often happens in June. But that’s a long way off in tropical terms.

Farther east, Saharan Dust dominates the eastern Atlantic, keeping African disturbances under control. That’s forecast to continue for the foreseeable future.


About the Author:

Bryan Norcross is currently a hurricane specialist at Local 10 News, the station where he began his stretch on television in Miami in 1983.