August 10, 2009

Tropical Wave near Africa Could Develop

A tropical wave which emerged from the West African coast over the weekend is still holding together on Monday. A low-level circulation of clouds suggests that this wave could be the first wave to develop off Africa this hurricane season. The eastern Atlantic is an area which we typically look for development as we approach the latter half of August, as conditions become more favorable.

The atmospheric setting westward over the open Atlantic Ocean will be marginal for further development of this vigorous tropical wave. There is a chance that tropical depression status will be reached over the next 24-48 hours as a result.

Nonetheless, there will be factors tending to restrict development of the present tropical wave. Widespread Saharan dust spreading far westward north of the wave could get drawn into its circulation. This would be a negative factor. Moreover, wind shear will be present at least part of the time. Sea surface temperatures will be marginal for development at mostly 78 to 81 degrees.

Whether the wave develops or not, it will have no direct weather impact upon the eastern United States before at least the latter half of next week, if at all.

Story by Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak

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