August 5, 2009

No Life in the Tropics

The tropics have yet to come to life. Normally, one or two storms are named by now, but this season... nothing. So what gives here?

First of all, it's not terribly unusual not to have any named storms during June and July. Early in the hurricane season, the tropics have yet to ripen fully. It would be very unusual to get through the next three weeks without a named storm, and the Hurricane Center does not believe that will happen. The thinking is that from about the Aug. 10 on we will start to see some activity.

However. what about right now? What factors are impeding development? A highly simplified diagram of what has been going on is shown below. A very strong Atlantic ridge has been causing bursts of wind (30-40 mph) through tropical latitudes which have done two things. First, these windy zones have transported dry, dusty air from Africa out across the ocean. Second, the bursts of wind have negated all attempts of low pressure waves developing any well defined circulations.

Story By Expert Senior Meteorologist John Kocet.

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