All Weather News

Atlantic Tropics Outlook: Dust Fending Off Storms For Now

19 Jul 2018, 7:04 am

The visible satellite imagery Thursday morning said it all.

Visible satellite Thursday morning, July 19 courtesy NOAA

Look closely at the right-hand-side of the picture, toward the middle/top part. If you can see a light brown color, then you see the Saharan Air Layer (SAL for short) crossing much of the central Atlantic Ocean.

The Saharan Air Layer analysis for Thursday, July 19 where dust aerosols show up in brown.

A rather large plume of the SAL has broken off and moved over the central Atlantic Ocean, thus limiting the thunderstorm activity. When thunderstorm activity is limited, so is the immediate threat of tropical cyclones.

The Atlantic Tropical Outlook from Thursday, July 19 to Monday, July 23

The dust moving across the Atlantic is helping to prevent tropical development in the next five days. In addition, there is also a lot of wind shear in the Caribbean Sea right now to help disrupt tropical systems to develop. Both of these things (dust and wind shear) are day-to-day or weekly factors. That said, a week or two from now could be a different story regarding the weather pattern and potential.

The historical average of the hurricane season where the peak of activity occurs in the second week of September in the Atlantic Basin.

Since it is quiet now, and history tells us July usually stays on the quieter side, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for any tropical systems if they were to hit.

Right now, we are closing in on the time last year when things became very active. We are only about three weeks away from when it became busy last year. Take this timetable for a reason why you should make sure you’re prepared now!

  • August 13, 2017: Tropical Storm Gert formed in the western Atlantic
  • Hurricane Harvey occurred
  • Hurricane Irma occurred
  • Hurricane Jose occurred
  • Hurricane Katia occurred
  • Hurricane Lee occurred
  • Hurricane Maria occured
  • September 30, 2017: Hurricanes Lee and Maria dissipated

For nearly 50 straight days last year there was some kind of tropical cyclone moving across the Atlantic Basin. It is not to say the same will happen this year, but it goes to show that August and September can be very active months in the tropics. Stay with us here at WeatherNation as we keep you updated regarding tropical activity all season long.

For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier