Quiet week ahead to start August

Latest update on the tropics provided by Local 10 Hurricane Specialist and Storm Surge Expert Michael Lowry

Tropics overview graphic (WPLG)

It’s been minute since we’ve seen any organized tropical activity in the Atlantic. The last storm recorded anywhere in the Atlantic was flash-in-the-pan Tropical Storm Colin, which came together near South Carolina back on July 2 but was a distant memory by July 3. This week, the tropics are again expected to stay quiet, with no tropical formation forecast in the Atlantic through the work week. If this forecast holds, we’ll have gone an entire month without a tropical system in the Atlantic.

How unusual is it to go 30 days or more without a storm formation in the Atlantic, especially by August? Not so unusual at it turns out. Last hurricane season, we went a full 32 days between Hurricane Elsa in early July and Fred, which formed on August 10. In 2020, 26 days elapsed between Chris that turned post-tropical on July 12 and Debby, which formed on August 7. And in 2016, the Atlantic went a whopping 42 days between Danielle in late June and Earl, which formed the first week of August. You can see the trend.

What makes this season feel more unusual is the anemic activity to date. While we’ve recorded three named storms already, similar to 2020 and ahead of what’s typical (early August is when we usually see our third named storm), the storms this year have been weak and short-lived. In terms of overall tropical activity, 2022 has been the least active start to an Atlantic hurricane season since 2009. Does that mean the Atlantic’s broken this year? It’s far too premature to make such a claim.

Activity to this point in the year is only a fraction of what we see in an overall season, and, as we’ve discussed in previous newsletters, whether it’s been busy or not to this point has little relationship to what lies ahead. Over 90 percent of tropical activity in the Atlantic occurs after August 1. Unfortunately, we’re by no means in the clear, but any week in August without a storm is welcome news.

Take the quiet week to review your hurricane plans or pick up hurricane supplies you still need while back-to-school shopping. For more information, check out our Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide (la Guía de Huracanes en español aquí) as you build your plan and supply kit for the most up-to-date local information, including evacuation zones, routes, and local shelter details. In the meantime, enjoy the continued quiet stretch this week.

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.