Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Where are the hurricanes?

We're reaching the traditional peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic and Caribbean basins, yet there isn't a sign of tropical weather activity.

Barring an explosion of development in September, it appears as if the long-range forecasts of an above-average number of named storms this year will fall flat.

After a bit of activity in late July and early August, the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico have been largely quiet for the past several weeks.

Some of the ingredients for tropical storm development are there, but one factor -- strong high pressure in the Atlantic -- is not around. Instead, weaker high pressure has dominated the Atlantic this summer. The strongest high pressure has been over the western United States, with a low pressure trough hanging over the eastern part of the country, and a weak Bermuda high in the Atlantic.

Tropical storm development requires high pressure near the low pressure system.  Air from the high pressure is fed into the developing low, aiding the system to strengthen.  With weaker high pressure in the Atlantic, the few systems that developed have not strengthened.

In addition, hot dry air has been blown off the African coast by the jet stream since early August. That dry air inhibits the development of tropical storms and hurricanes.

I've seen some forecasts of conditions changing in the first 10 days of September, but it's quiet now.

Incidentally, this will mark only the sixth year since the late 1940s that we've made it to September 1 without a hurricane. The last time was in 2002. The other years were 1967, 1984, 1988 and 2001.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where are the articles?

Anonymous said...

Are you complaining, maybe because you don't have any panicky articles to write? Get outta here.

Anonymous said...

Wherever they are, I hope that's where they stay.

Archiguy said...

As the famous expression goes, it ain't over 'till it's over. But let's hope it's over. We've had an unbelievably wet year so far even without any hurricanes passing by. Unusual weather events are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Anonymous said...

It's global warming! No wait...global warming causes more hurricanes!

Anonymous said...

When you grow up Archiguy, you'll see that "unusual" weather events have ALWAYS been the norm.

Marconi Polonius said...

The local TV weathercasters must be extremely disappointed,especially Brad Panicovitch!

B. Fereal said...

Does this mean Channel 9 doesn't have to refer to the forecast as Severe Weather anymore? How about we just go back to Weather, the rest of us can figure out if its severe or not. Except Archigirl, she is perpetually confused.

Eric Stenstrom said...

BUT, either the same year, or the year after, we had some very powerful storms arise in September, so don't think it's over yet.

Anonymous said...

"It appears that the long range forecasts for above average hurricanes will fall flat this year". LOL. When are they ever accurate?

Anonymous said...

The local TV weather hypers will have to compensate for the lack of hurricanes. Perhaps they can find a stray shower on the Tennessee/North Carolina border and break into prime time programming with a breathless report.

Proud J D Shaw said...

Indeed, this is troublesome news for the likes of Brad Panicovitch. He may have to pack away his designer foul-weather gear (used in dramatic outdoor hurricane reports) for another year, or until the next "major winter storm" rolls in around December. Drat those unreliable long range forecasts!

Anonymous said...

Who cares about hurricanes, I want to know when this sudden appearance of summer is going to end? Don't tell me we're gonna pay for the relatively cool (but damp) summer with a hot fall?

That would make me verrrry angry!

Pam Oliver said...

A nice hot September to dry up the swamp produced since May would be nice....then a quick transition into a cool autumn. A hot autumn would only extend the lousy year it has been weather-wise.