Tracking a tropical disturbance near Africa

Tropical wave graphic (WPLG)

A robust tropical wave – a ripple in atmospheric winds 5,000 to 10,000 feet up triggering a large area of showers and thunderstorms – is emerging today off the coast of Africa. We’ll be tracking this disturbance during the week for potential organization as it moves westward through the Atlantic.

For now, the environment ahead looks only marginally favorable for development, primarily over the eastern Atlantic. Forecast models aren’t keen on doing very much with it at this point, especially with conditions becoming increasingly hostile by next weekend. The biggest prohibitive factor for development will be a very stable tropical Atlantic, much more so than usual for this time of year. This, combined with a dry middle atmosphere, should limit thunderstorm growth around the system.

Weather instability graphic (WPLG)

Vertical instability across the tropical Atlantic. The solid black line indicates typical instability and the blue line shows instability so far in 2022. The atmosphere is much more stable than average so far this hurricane season, which suppresses thunderstorm activity. Credit: NOAA/CIRA.

Nevertheless, we monitor even the “dry” tropical waves this time of year, as they can sometimes lay dormant during their trek through the Atlantic until conditions become more favorable later on. Right now, there’s no immediate concern with this disturbance, but we’ll keep an eye on the forecast trends in coming days as conditions evolve in the Atlantic.

Tropical wave graphic (WPLG)

About the Author:

Michael Lowry is Local 10's Hurricane Specialist and Storm Surge Expert.