Tropical development remains 'weird' for August

By Bryan Norcross - Hurricane Specialist

It’s getting pretty weird that we are seeing conditions so unfavorable for tropical development across the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. Assuming nothing develops by early next week, and nothing is expected, we’ll be in rare territory – among the slowest starting hurricane seasons in modern time. Also, the longer we go with no organized tropical systems, on average, the fewer total storms eventually get named.  

But those are just average stats. For the next two and a half months we still have to be aware and be prepared.   


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Around the middle of next week, a tropical wave that moved across the Atlantic will combine with part of a disturbance over Central America and move into the western Gulf. The upper-level winds are forecast to be a bit more favorable for tropical development at that time, so we will keep an eye on that. The models don’t forecast any significant development at this time. In any case, it would not affect South Florida.

Also, in the middle of next week, a robust tropical disturbance is forecast by the computer models to move off Africa. If the extreme dry air lets up, we’ll have to keep an eye on that system, assuming the models are correct on its timing. That’s not because it’s a particular threat, but those are the systems that we pay close attention to this time of year.

It was 27 years ago today that one of those disturbances that had moved off Africa a couple days before became a Tropical Depression over the far eastern Atlantic. It took several days to develop, but eventually got a name: Andrew. 

And 50 years ago today, I was on the radio in Melbourne, Florida reporting on Hurricane Camille. Hurricane warnings had been issued for the Florida Panhandle. In the end, Camille jogged left and hit the Mississippi coast as a category 5 storm the following night.

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