Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tropics Coming Alive Again?

A nearly stationary area of low pressure in the Tropical Atlantic (about 850 miles West/Southwest of the Cape Verde Islands) has slowly become better organized over the last 24 hours.  It is expected to drift toward the West at 5-10 mph over the next 24-48 hours, with some further development likely.

The system has been dubbed "Tropical Invest 91" by the National Hurricane Center, which is currently forecasting a "60 percent chance" that the system will become at least a Tropical Depression over the next 2 days.

Here is a view of what the latest computer forecast models pose as the potential track of this system over the coming week:

The development of 91L comes on the heels of what has been a relatively quiet week to 10 days in the tropics.  This can at least be partly attributed to continued above average dust storm activity in Africa.  As you can see in the recent high resolution satellite image below, dust swirls continue to move off the coast of Africa into the far east Tropical Atlantic.  This at least partially retards the potential for tropical development by blocking part of the much needed solar energy that these storms feed off of.

There have been signs that the dust clouds have begun to wane over the past few days, which may lead to an increase in tropical activity in the Atlantic as we move further into August.

In the meantime, interests in the Carribean and the Southeast U.S. should closely monitor the development and progression of 91L for the next week to 10 days.

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