Mid-July Atlantic Tropical Update


So far, it’s been a relatively quiet start to the 2010 Atlantic tropical season (which had started with nearly unanimous predictions for a highly active season), with just one named storm (Alex) that went on to become a hurricane and a second Tropical Depression. Unfortunately, south Texas and northeast Mexico have been the recipients of both storms and massive flooding was the result.

However, as demonstrated in the NOAA-provided graph below, it certainly isn’t over yet! While the predictions may end up being a little on the high side, climatology indicates that the peak of the season is still ahead of us and that June and early July are typically fairly quiet, with the peak occurring in early September.

The next potential system is currently a tropical wave near Puerto Rico, but beginning to show signs of becoming the next tropical storm. The Hurricane Center has upgraded its chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next 48 hours to 40% as of this writing. (UPDATE: At 1pm CDT Tuesday, the probability was raised to 60%.) There are factors working on both sides of further development and eventual strength. Pros: warm waters, low upper-level shear, and the current wet phase of the MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation). Cons: dry, stable air aloft and potential land mass interaction.

The eventual track is a little more certain as a cluster of computer models agree on the steering currents this week. Those model tracks are shown below (courtesy StormPulse, click for larger image) and indicate that the Bahamas, south Florida, and then potentially the Gulf of Mexico are all in sight, should it develop further.

The MWN Tropical page will have the latest on this developing storm, as well as all future storms this summer and fall. If things play out as expected, there’s still a long season to come!

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