19 August 2010

Large easterly wave exits Africa...

A very large, broad, easterly wave is located just south of the Cape Verde islands, with a disorganized low-mid-level circulation at about 12N 25W (easy to spot from the 07:25Z WindSat and 10:55Z ASCAT microwave scatterometer overpasses).  It exited the coast about a day ago, and already has a weak anticyclone positioned over it, greatly reducing the vertical shear and enhancing outflow.

Nearly every global model develops the system substantially, bringing it northeast of the Lesser Antilles (roughly 20N 55W) as a hurricane in about a week.

I've been asked by a few people why the season has been so quiet so far.  In reality, it hasn't been; it's been on par with climatology... by this date, an average season has had 3 named storms, 1 hurricane, and 0 major hurricanes, which is exactly what 2010 has seen.  Given the continued favorable environment across most of the basin though, once the heart of the season is upon us (very soon), people will be asking why there are so many storms!  The bulk of a season's activity typically comes in a relatively short timeframe: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gifs/peakofseason.gif.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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