Tropical Trends in August

As the Northern Hemisphere enters the last month of meteorological summer, the tropics typically start to ramp up with development.

The frequency of named systems in the Atlantic Basin per year goes from about one or two in July up to three named storms in August. In addition, the frequency of the number of hurricanes rises from about one every other year in July to about one to two hurricanes per year in August. Two of the main reasons there is a spike in tropical activity from July to August are warmer sea surface temperatures and less overall wind shear in the favored areas for tropical development.

Areas in the Atlantic Basin that are most susceptible to tropical cyclone development in August expand eastward across the Atlantic from June and July. The Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and areas near the Bahamas remain climatologically favored for tropical development in August; however, areas farther east from between the Lesser Antilles over to the Cape Verde Islands just off of the western coast of Africa become increasingly favorable. With the increase in potential for tropical cyclones near the Cape Verde Islands, August is also the first month for the "Cape Verde Season" - a term that was coined to describe tropical systems that develop near these islands.

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This Day In Weather History

Montana (1979)
A thunderstorm passed through Livingston, MT, near Bozeman, dumping 2.5 inches of rain in 1 hour. Small roads in central mountain areas were washed out and the interstate highway was under water.

North Dakota (1991)
Huge hail caused severe damage in eastern North Dakota. Some hail was as large as six inches in diameter. Holes were punched in roofs and 16,000 acres of crops were destroyed.

Alaska (1984)
The remains of Typhoon Holly brought heavy rains and flooding to south-central Alaska with heavy snow inland. (4-foot drifts at Denali National Park).

Rough Weather