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An In-Depth Look at the Tropics: What You Need to Know

26 Aug 2014, 11:45 am


For the past week the main focus for tropical activity has been Hurricane Cristobal — the weak Atlantic hurricane located north of the Bahamas. With all the speculation and errant forecasts that were floating around last week, forecasters are now confident the storm will likely harmlessly curve out to sea. Now that Cristobal is almost guaranteed to move out into the open waters of the Atlantic, how is the rest of the tropics looking?

Well, it seems activity is beginning to pick up in the Atlantic, as tropical waves continue to roll off the western coast of equatorial Africa. No surprise that the eastern Pacific is still bustling with activity, as they’ve already had 13 named storms.


Starting in the Pacific: Once a Category 5, Hurricane Marie is finally starting to weaken; colder water temperatures are rapidly decaying the once very impressive cyclone. Marie is forecasted to continue to move northwest at 14-mph, a pretty clip for such a large system. Granted, Marie is not expected to have a direct impact on the U.S., Marie will cause some problems: Mainly in the form of high surf and maybe even an extra surge of moisture to add to the already wet monsoon season. High surf advisories have already been posted for parts of California and are expected to be continued in the coming days.

Karina…where to begin? This storm has been around for more than two weeks. Karina’s extended stay in the Eastern Pacific is due to weak steering currents and the impact of other more robust systems. Karina has actually made two U-turns and still is just meandering in the Pacific. Karina is dissipating and the National Hurricane Center is likely to stop issuing advisories late Tuesday.

The Atlantic, on the other hand, hasn’t been terribly busy this year — especially compared to average — but the Atlantic Basin is starting to make the transition into the peak of tropical activity. Climatology tells us that the statistical peak is right around September 10th, which is just around the corner. Not only is the 10th the peak of the season, but we also have to look farther out into the Atlantic for potential tropical development areas. So what can we expect in the next few weeks?


As stated early, Cristobal will become an afterthought once it starts to move further to the northeast. That is for sure a good thing, because we need to start focusing our attention on the Atlantic. We currently have our eye on two tropical waves, one has a 20% chance of development in the next five days and the other has a 30% chance of development in the next five days.

Given their distance from any U.S. interests and some model disagreement, it’s far too early to discuss their potential long-term path.

We also have our eye on a low-pressure that’s currently in the Gulf. Now please don’t be alarmed, it’s not a tropical low, but due to the convection it’ll just need to be monitored moving forward.

Make sure you keep checking back with us here on WeatherNation for the latest tropical updates.

Meteorologist Thomas Geboy

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