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Tropics should stay calm for a while

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The National Hurricane Center is making note of a weak disturbance a few hundred miles east of the eastern Caribbean islands. Most likely, it will pass over the islands Friday as nothing more than a moisture surge. It has a tiny window of time to pull itself together before the upper winds become hostile, but there is no sign of that happening.

This disturbance is typical of the systems we see this time of year. Africa is already cranking out one disturbance after the other, but the atmospheric conditions across the tropics are not conducive, in general, for them to flourish.

A large belt of Saharan Dust dries out any disturbances that venture too far north. And early-summer upper-level weather systems, which generally create a hostile environment to development, are a regular feature.

The system that became Claudette formed when one of these weak disturbances reached the western Gulf and tangled with the broad area of low-pressure that is often over Central America in June. We’ll have to watch to see if that scenario develops again in a week or so, but there’s no sign of anything now.

It’s a mix of northern weather systems and tropical air that makes June so rainy in South Florida. The contrast in temperature between the cold upper-air systems and the warm tropical air at ground-level makes it rain extra hard. That scenario will be around again today as the jet stream dips over the peninsula, so beware of the possibility of very heavy thunderstorms again.

We’ll keep an eye on the weak system east of the islands, though nothing is likely to come of that. Otherwise, no tropical development is expected through the weekend at least.


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.