Slow tropical season underway, watching for potential development this week

After a relatively slow and quiet start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season, the National Hurricane Center is watching for tropical development through the next two to five days.

A tropical system is considered a “wave” when it has an open area of circulation. In other words, there are no closed millibars on a pressure map associated with the tropical wave..

Once a tropical system has a closed center of circulation, it is considered to be organized and receives a designation of a tropical depression (sustained winds up to 38 mph), a tropical storm (sustained winds 39 mph to 73 mph), or a hurricane (sustained winds 74 mph or greater).

While the Atlantic Hurricane Season traditionally begins on June 1 and ends on November 30, the peak of the season is September 10.

Peak of Hurricane Season. Courtest of NOAA and NHC.

New tropical development this week?

For the past few months, the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) continued to push hot, dry, dusty air over the Atlantic Ocean Basin, essentially drying out any chances for tropical development between the Caribbean and the west coast of Africa.

The SAL is not as prominent in the days ahead, allowing thunderstorm clusters to move off the coast of Africa and over the open Atlantic waters.

As a result, a tropical depression may form later this week several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles. This tropical depression is expected to curve northeast and remain out to sea.

Further east, the potential tropical system moving off of the coast of Africa is expected to slowly strengthen before dissipating over the open Atlantic Ocean.

Below is additional information from the National Hurricane Center.

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