The Atlantic Goes Quiet

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:48 PM GMT on August 19, 2013

There are no tropical disturbances of note in the Atlantic today. The tropical wave off the coast of Africa (94L) that we were watching on Sunday has become too disorganized to be a threat to develop. None of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone formation in the Atlantic this week. In the Eastern Pacific, there is a tropical disturbance several hundred miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico that most of the models predict will develop by Thursday. In their 8 am EDT Monday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance a 20% of developing by Tuesday, and an 80% chance of developing by Saturday. The GFS and European models predict that this will become a tropical storm that will pass close to the tip of Baja on Friday or Saturday, respectively.


Figure 1. The third week of August is when Atlantic hurricane activity traditionally takes a large upswing, but that will not be the case in 2013.

We've had five named storms so far in the Atlantic this year, which is more that average for this point in the season. Usually, the fifth named storm does not arrive until August 31. However, we are well behind average for the arrival of the season's first hurricane, which usually occurs by August 10. The season's second hurricane usually arrives by August 28. It is questionable if we will see the season's first hurricane by that date, given the current lack of activity, the dry air moving across the Tropical Atlantic, and the lack of model predictions for tropical storm formation this week. Still, I'm not willing to downgrade the seasonal forecasts for above-average activity yet, as we are still three weeks away from the usual September 10 peak in activity, and the Atlantic is capable of getting very active in a hurry.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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1394. LargoFl
6:50 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1393. Jedkins01:


We got nailed here again in the Tampa Bay area yesterday, had another round of severe thunderstorms. The lightning here was insane! As usual visibility was near 0 due to torrential rain and violent down burst winds. I've seen tropical storm conditions from afternoon thunderstorms more times than I can count.

This is my favorite place and time of year for weather. There's nothing like watching it go from sunny skies much of the day, to powerful thunderstorms in minutes as sea breeze boundaries come together.
oh yes it sure was BAD..all that heavy Booming and Lightning etc..no lie..it was like a war zone here by me
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1393. Jedkins01
3:36 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1204. FtMyersgal:
Received 1.23" of rain in 45 minutes yesterday. It came down so hard I could not see the house across the street.



We got nailed here again in the Tampa Bay area yesterday, had another round of severe thunderstorms. The lightning here was insane! As usual visibility was near 0 due to torrential rain and violent down burst winds. I've seen tropical storm conditions from afternoon thunderstorms more times than I can count.

This is my favorite place and time of year for weather. There's nothing like watching it go from sunny skies much of the day, to powerful thunderstorms in minutes as sea breeze boundaries come together.
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1392. will40
3:31 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
there is a new blog up
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1391. stormpetrol
3:29 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
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1390. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
3:21 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1389. hydrus
3:20 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1350. moonlightcowboy:
Interesting little spot of convection blowing up too just east of Barbados.

Yep, and thats all it takes.
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1387. hydrus
3:17 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1379. Rmadillo:
Do waves actually help "moisten the environment" for subsequent waves, or is that a myth we have all created and bought into?

It just doesn't seem like it actually happens that way. But I could be wrong, unless I'm not.
Usually. There have been numerous reinforcing outbreaks of dry, Dusty air as these waves exit the region this year, prolonging the process of saturating the moisture field around and over the MDR. I do believe it is happening albeit slowly. Subsidence is playing a roll this year also. As of now, the MDR is certainly not conducive for development.
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1386. Chucktown
3:16 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1378. CybrTeddy:


We had Erin earlier this week.


Naa, Erin was downgraded to a depression at 11 PM Saturday, so technically we had no named storms as of midnight Sunday. Yea, we had TD Erin, but that was due to its previous classification as a tropical storm.

Link
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1385. dopplergirl
3:16 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Link

Tropical disturbance in the southern GOM...

Where is he getting his data?

Isn't this last week's news...published this morning...?
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1384. VirginIslandsVisitor
3:16 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Good morning/afternoon everyone

Not a nice day, today or tomorrow, to be visiting the islands...

Hazardous Weather Outlook
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
541 AM AST TUE AUG 20 2013

AMZ715-725-VIZ001-002-210945-
ST. THOMAS ST. JOHN ADJACENT ISLANDS-ST CROIX-
NEARSHORE ATLANTIC AND ADJACENT CARIBBEAN COASTAL WATERS-
541 AM AST TUE AUG 20 2013

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS AND THE
ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT
THE MOISTURE BEHIND A TROPICAL WAVE ACROSS HISPANIOLA IN COMBINATION
WITH THE PROXIMITY OF AN UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL CONTINUE TO
PRODUCE A MOIST AND UNSTABLE WEATHER PATTERN WITH SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE REGION TODAY AND TONIGHT.
THESE FEATURES WILL COMBINE WITH LOCAL EFFECTS TO INDUCE THE DEVELOPMENT
OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE LOCAL ISLANDS TODAY.
URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING ARE LIKELY WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR
FLASH FLOOD IN ISOLATED AREAS.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY
THE LINGERING MOISTURE ACROSS THE REGION WILL COMBINE WITH LOCAL
EFFECTS TO DEVELOP SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
ACROSS PARTS OF THE LOCAL ISLANDS ON WEDNESDAY. URBAN AND SMALL STREAM
FLOODING ARE LIKELY WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR FLASH FLOOD IN ISOLATED
AREAS.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...
RAINFALL AMOUNTS REPORTS ARE WELCOME.

Lindy
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1383. CybrTeddy
3:13 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1380. Chucktown:


I thought thats what Erin and 94L were supposed to do. Remember, these were as the blog called it, "sacrificial" and would pave the way for the rest of the waves to develop. There is still a lot dry air left and I'm not sure the MJO is going to change things a whole lot. Will be interesting to say the least as we head towards peak.


It did take a nice dent out of the SAL.
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1381. all4hurricanes
3:09 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1379. Rmadillo:
Do waves actually help "moisten the environment" for subsequent waves, or is that a myth we have all created and bought into?

It just doesn't seem like it actually happens that way. But I could be wrong, unless I'm not.

I have noticed that too
In 2010 where where was a pretty healthy wave train some storms like Gaston died b/c of dry air
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1380. Chucktown
3:09 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1375. Envoirment:


But doesn't a pulse of MJO increase instability, which in turn causes more thunderstorms to occur across the basin, which then helps to add more moisture into the atmosphere?
And before the MJO pulse arrives, the waves off of Africa will help moisten up the Atlantic further. I think we're in for an active September/October.


I thought thats what Erin and 94L were supposed to do. Remember, these were as the blog called it, "sacrificial" and would pave the way for the rest of the waves to develop. There is still a lot dry air left and I'm not sure the MJO is going to change things a whole lot. Will be interesting to say the least as we head towards peak.
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1379. Rmadillo
3:01 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Do waves actually help "moisten the environment" for subsequent waves, or is that a myth we have all created and bought into?

It just doesn't seem like it actually happens that way. But I could be wrong, unless I'm not.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1378. CybrTeddy
3:01 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1373. Chucktown:


I guess we'll see. I'm not saying it will change things or not. This is why I don't forecast numbers for the season. Does anyone really care if you are right or wrong? When a storm develops, then we can track it. If and when it threatens someone, then we will take action and forecast where it may go and who it will impact the most. As a side note, picked this off Ryan Maue's twitter feed.

Flhurricane‏@cfhc3h
It the past 50 years only 7 times has this week in August gone without a named storm: 1967, 1968, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1997 and 2002.

Retweeted by Ryan Maue


We had Erin earlier this week.
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1377. Articuno
3:00 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1372. Articuno:


AOI near PR?

Nvm, shear's probably too high
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1376. 69Viking
2:58 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1365. Stoopid1:


I think when a full fledged storm does develop most of us will be rubbing our eyes and pinching our selves. We are still technically above average in terms of number of named storms, but lacking in the hurricane department. 2nd of they year by average, as stated by Dr. master's, is on August 28th. Hard to say if we'll even have one at that point, looking more unlikely. We have had active seasons with late developing hurricanes before though, and most indications (MJO, weak La Nina/neutral) in the coming couple of weeks seems to point to a more active second half. Wouldn't be surprised to see an active September and October this year, but we'll see.


I agree and that is why my prediction is 16/8/4.
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1375. Envoirment
2:58 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1344. Chucktown:


You can have all the MJO you want, as long as this dry air remains in the MDR, it's still going to hinder development. Starting to think the Cape Verde season is going minimal at best. Also, we've only got about 2-3 weeks before the "wave train" starts to wind down. It peaks around September 1st.


But doesn't a pulse of MJO increase instability, which in turn causes more thunderstorms to occur across the basin, which then helps to add more moisture into the atmosphere?
And before the MJO pulse arrives, the waves off of Africa will help moisten up the Atlantic further. I think we're in for an active September/October.
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1374. Rmadillo
2:53 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1372. Articuno:


AOI near PR?


Careful .. I got banned the other day for using acronymns that sent users to the Google rabbit-hole of nothingness. I thought they were legit.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1373. Chucktown
2:53 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1361. TropicalAnalystwx13:

I wonder what the effects of an upward pulse of the MJO are on an otherwise stable Atlantic...? *cough*


I guess we'll see. I'm not saying it will change things or not. This is why I don't forecast numbers for the season. Does anyone really care if you are right or wrong? When a storm develops, then we can track it. If and when it threatens someone, then we will take action and forecast where it may go and who it will impact the most. As a side note, picked this off Ryan Maue's twitter feed.

Flhurricane‏@cfhc3h
It the past 50 years only 7 times has this week in August gone without a named storm: 1967, 1968, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1997 and 2002.

Retweeted by Ryan Maue
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1372. Articuno
2:51 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1353. GeoffreyWPB:


AOI near PR?
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1371. Rmadillo
2:51 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1367. reedzone:
Downcasters are too funny... my forecast is 14 to 18 named storms.... I have my reasons.


Can you explain? I enjoy hearing the perspectives of others.

Sometimes it sheds light on facets of tropical forecasting I am grossly unaware of.

TIA
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1370. Stormchaser2007
2:50 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Fun fact:

Out of the ECMWF operational, ECMWF ensembles, ECMWF EPS control, and the ECMWF Monthly forecasts...

The monthly is the only one that develops a tropical cyclone (as in just one) over the next 30 days.
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1368. LargoFl
2:49 PM GMT on August 20, 2013

0











More Information

Temperatures
Klystron 9
Lightning strikes
Rainfall in last 24 hours
Dew point/humidity
Severe weather warnings




.
ST. PETERSBURG --
The clear and pleasant conditions that greeted students returning to Bay area schools Tuesday morning will give way to hot, humid and stormy conditions later in the day.

According to Bay News 9 Meteorologist Josh Linker, the summertime weather pattern will continue with afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

"The pattern of clear and quiet conditions early in the day during the summer will continue today," Linker said. "We will have some showers and thunderstorms move across the area this afternoon."

Morning temperatures in the upper 70s will rise to the lower 90s by this afternoon.

Rain chances will remain at 50 percent through Thursday.

Also, with 1.75 inches of rain Monday at Tampa International Airport, August has surpassed 10 inches of rain. With June and July also surpassing that total, it marked the first time since 1957 that three months in a row each had more than 10 inches of rainfall.
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1367. reedzone
2:45 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Downcasters are too funny... my forecast is 14 to 18 named storms.... I have my reasons.
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1366. moonlightcowboy
2:42 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1362. 69Viking:


LOL, the season has been so quiet with anything developing getting sheared apart that we are grasping onto any bit of convection that survives past the onslaught of dry air in the central Atlantic! Not knocking you cowboy, just think it's funny how a lot of us are doing this! Sooner or later we'll get our storms and when we do some of us will be praying for dry air and shear as it nears our coastline!


No worries, Viking. Agreed. I just remember the times when many of just sat for hours on end, and looked for any kind of swirl to get going. There is some spin there too. ;)
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1365. Stoopid1
2:35 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1362. 69Viking:


LOL, the season has been so quiet with anything developing getting sheared apart that we are grasping onto any bit of convection that survives past the onslaught of dry air in the central Atlantic! Not knocking you cowboy, just think it's funny how a lot of us are doing this! Sooner or later we'll get our storms and when we do some of us will be praying for dry air and shear as it nears our coastline!


I think when a full fledged storm does develop most of us will be rubbing our eyes and pinching our selves. We are still technically above average in terms of number of named storms, but lacking in the hurricane department. 2nd of they year by average, as stated by Dr. master's, is on August 28th. Hard to say if we'll even have one at that point, looking more unlikely. We have had active seasons with late developing hurricanes before though, and most indications (MJO, weak La Nina/neutral) in the coming couple of weeks seems to point to a more active second half. Wouldn't be surprised to see an active September and October this year, but we'll see.
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1364. Rmadillo
2:33 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
The Tropical Atlantic is quiet. Too quiet.

It can only get worse... much worse. Really, it can't get any better, now can it? ;)
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1363. Tazmanian
2:32 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
My updated forecast is 12/6/3
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1362. 69Viking
2:27 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1350. moonlightcowboy:
Interesting little spot of convection blowing up too just east of Barbados.



LOL, the season has been so quiet with anything developing getting sheared apart that we are grasping onto any bit of convection that survives past the onslaught of dry air in the central Atlantic! Not knocking you cowboy, just think it's funny how a lot of us are doing this! Sooner or later we'll get our storms and when we do some of us will be praying for dry air and shear as it nears our coastline!
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1361. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:26 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1344. Chucktown:


You can have all the MJO you want, as long as this dry air remains in the MDR, it's still going to hinder development. Starting to think the Cape Verde season is going minimal at best. Also, we've only got about 2-3 weeks before the "wave train" starts to wind down. It peaks around September 1st.

I wonder what the effects of an upward pulse of the MJO are on an otherwise stable Atlantic...? *cough*
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1360. K8eCane
2:26 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1343. K8eCane:
I was just reading from dr masters about when he flew through Hugo.
These hurricane hunters need to be admired and respected for sure.


Dr Masters, if you ever see this comment, I want to tell you that you keep me on the edge of my seat each time I read this.
Great writing. I hope you write a lot
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1359. sporteguy03
2:24 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1352. Tazmanian:
You guys been posting wind shear maps mojo maps back in late July showing what could happen by augs 15th and look its augs 20ths and look noting has happen at all so all them maps you guys post am not trusting at all right now

Taz, weather and mother nature does not follow maps or models. They are just guidance. Many bloggers just report them as they are the best guidance as to what could happen. No different if the maps and MJO models showed nothing and yet we have plenty of activity. Besides I can see positives coming from this lack of activity including:
No threatening of oil rigs in the Gulf
Cruises are not cancelled
Vacations are not impacted by the tropics
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1358. CybrTeddy
2:22 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1351. sporteguy03:

lol, you need to give a good speech first if you are going to leave.


I've warn those out. First time that's ever happened.
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1357. sebastianflorida
2:20 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1314. hurricanes2018:
12/4/3 is my updated forecast.
15/8/4 My guess
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1356. sporteguy03
2:20 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1354. SLU:


Even the least active season ever had its lone TC in September.


If we ever have that type of year again on this blog..well you know... Of course there were probably more storms that year just not reported because of lack of data.
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1355. RitaEvac
2:19 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Radar jacked up, showing rain





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1354. SLU
2:18 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1348. Sfloridacat5:


I usually don't expect anything before the first - second week in Sept. This is always a very active period (as expected).
I teach science and I always track tropical storms/hurricanes with my students during the month of Sept. I've yet to have a year without storms to track during Sept.




Even the least active season ever had its lone TC in September.

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1353. GeoffreyWPB
2:16 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
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1352. Tazmanian
2:16 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
You guys been posting wind shear maps mojo maps back in late July showing what could happen by augs 15th and look its augs 20ths and look noting has happen at all so all them maps you guys post am not trusting at all right now
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1351. sporteguy03
2:15 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1349. CybrTeddy:
Fine, the season is an unprecedented bust. We're not going to have any more named storms. Hurricanes? Forget about it. Can I go now? :)

lol, you need to give a good speech first if you are going to leave.
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1350. moonlightcowboy
2:13 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Interesting little spot of convection blowing up too just east of Barbados.

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1349. CybrTeddy
2:11 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Fine, the season is an unprecedented bust. We're not going to have any more named storms. Hurricanes? Forget about it. Can I go now? :)
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1348. Sfloridacat5
2:11 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1341. SLU:


Prior to 2004, most seasons since 1995 followed this year's pattern with very little activity before August 25th and a very busy September and October. Most of our bloggers are from the post-2004 era which has featured some very unusually active early periods most notably 2005 and most persons use these anomalies as a judge to compare every other season. Hence, every year when we don't have cat 4's in the Gulf of Mexico in July making landfall on US coastlines will be judged as a bust by these persons.



I usually don't expect anything before the first - second week in Sept. This is always a very active period (as expected).
I teach science and I always track tropical storms/hurricanes with my students during the month of Sept. I've yet to have a year without storms to track during Sept.


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1347. TampaSpin
2:08 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Gotta run....have fun about the WHAT IF'S....NO FIGHTING KIDS! Have fun!
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1346. Tazmanian
2:08 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1337. CybrTeddy:


Shear looks like it'll become quite favorable by the end of the forecast period. Besides, the focus won't be in the Caribbean, it'll be in the MDR.



That map is showing vary unfavorable winds
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1345. moonlightcowboy
2:07 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Ok, one last wishcasting post (not). ;P

18n,49w It's A L I V E still. Or either it's a zombie, albeit in a sea of dry air and southeast of the strong southwesterly TUTT shear. ;)



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1344. Chucktown
2:05 PM GMT on August 20, 2013
Quoting 1328. CybrTeddy:


Not in this magnitude, and not by the ECMWF. The MJO has been consistently forecasted by the GFS to return to our basin, it hasn't verified while the ECMWF has done very well with predicting the MJO this season as it's meandered around the neutral area. It's now showing it returning to our basin, with a vengeance.


You can have all the MJO you want, as long as this dry air remains in the MDR, it's still going to hinder development. Starting to think the Cape Verde season is going minimal at best. Also, we've only got about 2-3 weeks before the "wave train" starts to wind down. It peaks around September 1st.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather