First Week of September May Yield Two Atlantic Tropical Systems

By , Senior Meteorologist
August 30, 2013; 5:16 AM ET
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There is a chance that not one, but two systems may develop in the tropical Atlantic next week, during the early days of September.

While the Atlantic Basin still has a way to go for being considered busy from the standpoint of active tropical systems, there is already a trend toward more disturbances, stronger disturbances and less extensive dry air.

According to Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, "With the changing atmospheric conditions over the entire basin now, we could have at least two systems organizing this weekend spanning the area from just off the coast of Africa to the Caribbean and the eastern Gulf of Mexico."

Dry air that dominated the Atlantic Basin during much of August is not as widespread this week. One system in the lower right corner of this Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, satellite image has a chance at slowly organizing later this week as it approaches the Windward and Leeward islands on the western fringe of the Caribbean. Another system over Africa, east of this image, also has a chance at development next week as it moves over the Atlantic. Other features over the Caribbean bear watching.

"We are noticing a more moist and unstable environment taking shape over the tropical Atlantic this week, and we have indication now that multiple systems could develop at the same time during the first week of September," Kottlowski added.

Development of these systems is one thing; making a forecast track beyond several days until they become better organized is another.

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Two systems being watched over the Atlantic will move along in a general westward motion through this week.

"If a large area of high pressure over the central Atlantic remains strong, it will continue to guide the system already over the eastern Atlantic water farther west, into the Caribbean later this weekend," Kottlowski said. "If the high weakens, it could allow that feature to turn northward and miss the Caribbean."

Gauging intensity of these systems this far out is challenging. However, if either of the two systems were move into a zone with without disruptive winds, development from a disturbance to a depression, tropical storm or hurricane could occur quickly.

The water over much of the basin is warm enough to sustain tropical systems.

"There is also a chance something crops up in the Gulf or western Caribbean with a couple of weak disturbances currently hovering nearby," Kottlowski added.

As far as considering travel in the Caribbean or to beach destinations in the coastal U.S., this is not the time to change any plans, but instead monitor the tropics.

The six weeks from September to early October is traditionally the busiest part of the hurricane season.

According to Sr. Vice President Joseph P. Sobel, Ph.D., "It is highly unlikely that we will not have a hurricane somewhere over the Atlantic during the first 15 days of September."


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