Tropics Getting More Active; Two Areas of Interest in the Atlantic

It appears that the tropics are becoming more active as expected. There are now two different areas of interest in the Atlantic Basin: a trough of low pressure in the eastern Caribbean and a tropical wave just off of the coast of Africa.

Both areas are currently being given a low chance (20 percent and 30) of development over the next 5 days by the National Hurricane Center. Unlike the past few disturbances/tropical waves, there is some consistent, and increasing, model support for development for both areas of interest.

Trough in the Caribbean

The trough in the eastern Caribbean is not showing any signs of organization at this time, and it is unlikely to anytime soon as the eastern Caribbean is usually too unfavorable for tropical cyclogenesis due to the fast trade winds that prevail there. However, model guidance indicates that it could try and develop when it reaches the central or western Caribbean late this weekend into early next week.

GEFS for early Wednesday. A cluster of members is showing development in the central/western Caribbean. Each red number represents where an individual member has a low pressure center. (Tropical Tidbits)

While the GFS is the only deterministic model showing development, an increasing number of EPS and GEFS members are also showing development.

Should this wave develop in the Caribbean, it is too early to say with any certainty where it might track or how strong it could become. But most EPS and GEFS members that develop it do show a track into the Gulf of Mexico by late next week.

Tropical Wave off of Africa

Farther east, model support is also increasing for development of the wave off of Africa. Members of both the EPS and GEFS. However, unlike with trough in the Caribbean, the ECMWF, GFS, UKMET and CMC develop this wave.

Ultimately, it is hard to say if this tropical wave will develop or not. There have been several that have failed to develop in the eastern Atlantic due to dry air/stability despite having model support.

Latest SAL analysis from CIMSS. (UW-CIMSS)

It is worth noting that the Sharan air layer (SAL) does appear to have retreated to the north some based on the latest CIMSS analysis.

The NHC states that environmental conditions could be supportive of gradual development through early next week as it tracks west.

Activity Likely to Continue to Increase

In addition to the two tropical waves currently being monitored, both the EPS and GEFS indicate that one or two tropical waves will be worth watching for potential development when they “splash down” in the Atlantic next week.

Currently no Threat to the U.S.

For now none of these tropical waves are a threat to the U.S. or the Gulf Coast. But we are entering the peak of the hurricane season and regardless of if one, both, or none of these waves develop, activity is beginning to ramp up.

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Caleb Carmichael
Caleb Carmichael

Caleb is the owner of Gulf Coast Storm Center. He is currently an undergraduate student at Mississippi State University majoring in geoscience with a concentration in broadcast and operational meteorology. While not yet a meteorologist, Caleb has been providing weather updates, news, and analysis for the Gulf Coast since 2014.

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