16 August 2016

Possible action brewing in the eastern Atlantic

We're at the time of year when all eyes are on Africa for generating tropical cyclone embryos... African easterly waves.  One exited the coast about three days ago and is now close to becoming a tropical depression.  Another strong one is still inland and should cross the coastline in about four days (models favor its development).  For additional background on AEWs, please refer to my post from a few weeks ago: "Africa is Awakening".

Visible satellite image of the eastern tropical Atlantic and northern Africa.  The two features of interest are southwest of the Cape Verde islands and also the blob of clouds passing into Burkina Faso. Yellow coloring indicates the presence of dust.  (CIRA/RAMMB)
Focusing on the one over water, it is centered near 10°N 30°W and is in an environment that would support development, at least for another couple of days.

Models generally agree that it will become at least a tropical depression in the near future, but a track toward the northwest will take it over slightly cooler water and into drier air for a few days.  Then after that potential speedbump, it could re-intensify over the central Atlantic, posing no threat to land.  The next name on the list is Fiona.  [Fiona was a new name introduced in the 2010 season to replace Frances which was retired after the 2004 season.]

Forecast tracks from a variety of numerical models of varying complexity (not all lines should be weighted equally or even considered... but that's a whole different topic!).

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