All Weather News

Tropics Remain Mostly Quiet

17 Jun 2020, 5:03 am

After a rapid start to the season in the tropical Atlantic, things are – for now – mercifully quiet.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) outlook, as of Wednesday, had only one small area of potential tropical development, that in association with a slow-moving area of low pressure off the southeastern coastline of the U.S. But, that system has primarily moved inland, taking with it any chance of development over the next few days.

The “X” below marks one small area for potential development in the southeastern Caribbean, although as of Wednesday, the NHC had reduced that area’s chances for development down to 0 percent.


Otherwise, the tropics – after a flurry of storms to start the Atlantic basin season – have calmed down somewhat. The overall lack of activity is somewhat of a rarity, considering how busy this season has been so far.

One big factor (and one that’s typical early in the tropics season) for the respite in activity is simple: a large plume of desert dust from the world’s largest desert. The dust mixes with tropical air, creating an overall unfavorable environment for tropical development as it crosses the Atlantic Ocean. Saharan dust is expected to suppress tropical development as it moves across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico this week and weekend.

Meteorologist Rob Bradley has more on this phenomenon here.

But of course, it’s worth noting that the Atlantic’s hurricane season only just began back on June 1st – barely two weeks ago. Normally, the third season of the Atlantic basin doesn’t develop until mid-August, and with Cristobal’s landfall last week in southeastern Louisiana, there have already been two landfalling tropical systems in the U.S. so far this tropical season.

Most seasonal forecasts point to an expectation for an above average hurricane season, so during this quieter spell, it’s probably a good time to review your hurricane preparedness plan.


The peak of Atlantic basin hurricane season isn’t until late August and running through September (the peak month) and into early October, before a sharp drop off into the end of the Atlantic’s hurricane season on November 30th.

The same current quieter pattern also goes for the eastern Pacific, where there are no current areas being monitored by the NHC for potential development. Earlier this week, there was one tropical wave that was being monitored for potential development, but

In the eastern Pacific, only one named storm has developed (Andrea, which eventually became Cristobal), though the eastern Pacific can often see a flurry of early season activity. An expected transition to a La Nina pattern, however, is expected to generally suppress development in this region this year.

Stay with WeatherNation for the latest through the tropics season.

About the author
Chris doesn't remember a time when that he didn't love the weather. When he was five years old, he wrote his first words, "Partly cloudy", in Ms. Benn's kindergarten class. According to Chris, it's been a love affair ever since, from teaching himself how to read forecast models at age 12, to landing at WeatherNation. Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, he started to go after his lifelong drea... Load Morem of becoming a meteorologist by predicting whether or not there would be snow days - turning him into Greenwich High School's "defacto weatherman". He turned that snow day-predicting website into a front page story a local newspaper, which in turn earned him a look at WABC-TV in New York, where Chris did the weather live on-air at the age of 16. He attended Boston University, where he continued being a "weather nerd", performing weather updates on the campus radio and TV stations, and doing the daily forecasts for the student newspaper. Following his studies at BU, Chris worked at Mile High Sports and ESPN Denver for four years while pursuing his certification in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. Chris is a huge sports fan, rooting for the Rockies, Nuggets, Broncos, Avalanche and UConn. He frequently find links between sports and weather, including an investigative analysis he did in 2013, finding trends between Peyton Manning's play and game time temperature (he doesn't like the cold). Chris also enjoys running, playing any sport, socializing and periodically overeating at all-you-can-eat buffets.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *