Thursday, June 25th 2020, 6:30 am - We’ve recently seen a strong tropical inhibitor known as the Saharan Air Layer, but there are signs that tropical activity over the next 10 days may not be as quiet.
This Atlantic hurricane season is tied with 2016 for having the most named storms by this point in time. Most recently, we saw Tropical Depression Dolly and Tropical Storm Cristobal during the month of June.
We are still very early in the season and in fact, most long track and impactful storms typically form off the west coast of Africa in the late summer and early fall. As of late, we have seen something else forming in Africa - the Saharan Air Layer.
This is an extremely hot, dry and sometimes dust-laden layer of the atmosphere that often overlies the cooler, more humid surface air of the Atlantic Ocean. This dry dusty airmass can inhibit tropical storm development by limiting convection as tracks across the Atlantic Ocean. However, there are indicators that the season will become more active in July.
HISTORICAL NOTABLE JULY STORMS
There have been several July tropical systems that will be remembered for many years to come. Hurricane Dolly (2008) was a strong tropical cyclone that made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in southern Texas with heavy rainfall and wind.
Additionally, Hurricane Dennis (2005) made landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a Category 3 hurricane. Even though we have previously seen storms throughout the month of July, this does not indicate how active or quiet the rest of the hurricane season will be.
WHAT DO WE USUALLY EXPECT IN JULY?
There are many favoured areas for tropical development in the month of July. This can include parts of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.
As with most years, the ocean temperatures, which fuel hurricanes, become warmer and warmer the further we progress into summer.
We are currently monitoring the potential for Atlantic tropical cyclone activity to pick up in the next 10 days. There are some models sniffing out a Gulf of Mexico disturbance, as well as another system that is battling through dry air to get into the northern Caribbean.
We will be monitoring these potential tropical cyclones very closely. Remember, regardless of when a storm develops or makes landfall, it really only takes "one" to cause extraordinary damage.
It is important to stay informed and up to date with The Weather Network throughout the hurricane season.