Tropical Update: When will the Atlantic wake up?

Forecasters continue to call for above normal hurricane activity this season but all remains quiet.

Tropical Update: When will the Atlantic wake up?

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The seasonal forecasters are saying one thing, the tropics are doing just the opposite.

Some of the latest seasonal outlooks from NOAA and Colorado State continue to show this hurricane season being above normal. Here we are coming up to the middle of August and Barry was the last storm to form, exactly a month ago.

I see no reason to believe we won’t go another week or two without a storm as models continue to indicate the Atlantic will remain quiet over the next several days.

So what gives? Why are the seasonal outlooks calling for lots of activity and Mother Nature is doing the total opposite?

It all comes down to what is happening right now. Hurricanes need a few ingredients to come together to develop, those ingredients include warm water, low wind shear and moist air.

Earlier this season, Saharan dust dominated the Atlantic and even this week another batch of dust is expected to move off the coast of Africa. This dust is very dry which zaps the moisture needed to fuel any hurricane development.

Another ingredient is warm water. Now there is plenty of warm water out there, especially over the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico where water temperatures are running 1-2 degrees above normal. However, those warmer than normal water temperatures are exactly where the highest wind shear is located in the Atlantic.

Just because you have more than enough of one ingredient doesn’t mean you have all three and this is exactly why the Atlantic remains quiet.

Moving forward activity is going to pick up, possibly around the last week of August which is climatologically speaking when it should. Over in the Pacific Ocean we are seeing multiple typhoons develop as a result of the positive phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation. That’s just a special phrase for showing where the rising air is in the tropics. This rising air fuels more thunderstorm development over water, thus increasing your chance for tropical development.

That phase of rising air will transition to the Atlantic come September prompting what will likely be an active few weeks of watching the Gulf.

Here at FOX 8 we have a team of five meteorologists always monitoring the weather locally and out in the tropics. You can download the FOX 8 Weather App today to be the first to know when that next storm starts brewing.

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