21 July 2020

It’s Time to Pay Attention to the Tropics

Posted by Dan Satterfield

TD 7 is just west of the terminator in this image from Tuesday evening.

The NHC started advisories on Tropical Depression 7 in the mid-Atlantic this evening and there is an area of disturbed weather south of Florida as well. Sometimes, it seems like a switch flips and the Atlantic basin starts to bubble.

The switch has flipped.

In spite of some big outbreaks of dust a few weeks ago, the waters in the main development region (MDR) are well above average and any storms that develop will have a lot of energy to play around with. Hot waters do not necessarily mean more storms but they do mean that storms that do develop have the potential to get stronger and to produce more rain.

A tropical wave near Florida is drifting west and needs to be watched.

The long-range numerical weather guidance is in good agreement that TD7 will stay south and it might end up being a Gulf storm if it develops. The area of disturbed weather near Florida may be more of an immediate threat but the guidance tonight shows little development. Either way, it may be a big rain producer on the Gulf Coast soon. While there have been some long-range forecasts of an active hurricane season, I tend not to buy into them, since their track record is still rather poor. That said, all the signs are there that the main hurricane season is about to take the stage.

Note: Any storms that track up the eastern seaboard in the next few weeks will have extremely warm waters underneath them and the potential to stay quite strong. That said, most of the MDR is showing above-normal temperatures, and with the rising global temperatures from climate change, all the ocean waters tend to be unusually warm. Future hurricanes will be much wetter and the water will be high before they even arrive. 

I’ll do an updated post again on the tropics in the next day or two.