While things remain active in the Pacific, the tropical Atlantic is quiet – certainly some good news as we head into the peak of hurricane season (typically the second half of August through most of September). But that’s far from an “all-clear” for the next few weeks – or even the next few days.
A dry layer combined with cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures has put a stop to possible tropical development through much of the first half of August, and it looks to continue to do so for at least the next few days.
This is usually the time of year when we start to see development from the central and eastern Atlantic, referred to as the “Cape Verde” season, in reference to the Cape Verde Islands just off the western coast of Africa, from where many mid-to-late season tropical systems form.
Even with a lack of activity in the area, there is one feature of perhaps a bit of interest in the Atlantic. Just to the west of Cape Verde there’s a fairly vigorous tropical wave that pushed off of Africa over the weekend, and it immediately caught the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) attention. But “Invest-94L”, as the system was once known when the NHC was investigating it for possible short-term development, is merely spinning away in the eastern Atlantic, drifting west through a hostile and dry airmass for development.
Check out the water vapor of the low below, courtesy of NOAA:
Once 94L reaches the western Atlantic and the area around the northern Lesser Antilles of the eastern Caribbean (likely by the early part of next week), the low will encounter warmer sea surface temperatures and less Saharan dust- perhaps creating better conditions for possible development. It’s a ways out and hard to predict, but this low could require some attention by this time next week.
So far, however, a dust-laden, Sahara Desert-originating layer of air has essentially capped tropical development in the Atlantic and in the Cape Verde region, and it may continue to do so over the next few days.
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi