Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Stirrings in the Atlantic

The tropical storm season has been a relatively quiet one so far this year, but  in the last two days there have been some a couple of tropical waves that bear watching.  The latest advisory by the Tropical Prediction Center has identified two areas of disturbed weather.  One is in the central Caribbean and is producing showers and thunderstorms from Hispaniola eastward several hundred miles. Upper level winds are unfavorable for much further development of this system.  To the southeast of this wave is another tropical wave about midday between African and the Lesser Antilles, and this has a better chance for development into a tropical cyclone over the next several days.

Tropical outlook for the Atlantic issued at 1:33 pm EDT on July 31, 2012

So far the have been four named tropical systems this season. Tropical Storm Alberto formed in mid-May and spun around off the northeast coast of Florida. Tropical Storm Beryl formed a few days after Alberto's demise and brushed the southeast U.S. with tropical storm force wind gusts and heavy rain in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.  Hurricane Chris was a short-lived tropical system that developed southeast of the Canadian Maritimes on June 19. Tropical Storm Debby formed over the central Gulf of Mexico the last week of June and was a huge rain producer over the west coast of Florida and the Florida panhandle. On the morning of June 25 most CoCoRaHs observers in Hernando County, FL reported 10 to more than 14 inches of rain in 24 hours. Two CoCoRaHS observers in Crawfordville, FL (Wakulla County in the panhandle) reported more than 16 inches of rain in 24 hours!

While no one wants the damage and headaches associated with a landfalling tropical system, a good portion of the central United States would love to see a tropical system bring its moisture and rain inland to drought-affected areas. That is probably a long shot at this point. By the way, "Ernesto" will be the name of the next tropical cyclone.

More information on tropical systems in both the Atlantic and the Pacific can be found at National Hurricane Center web site.

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