Tropics Heating Up?

By Matt Alto, Meteorologist
July 30, 2012; 8:53 PM ET
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It has been nearly a month since Tropical Storm Debby churned in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, bringing heavy and beneficial rains to parts of Florida. But since the end of June, the overall weather pattern across the Atlantic Tropical Basin has been considerably quiet.

While meteorologists were correct in assuming the tropics would be quiet throughout the weekend, they are monitoring a strong tropical disturbance for possible development early this week.

According to Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "The system is a bit farther south and is the strongest of the disturbances thus far this season originating from Africa."

Because the storm is located farther south than other disturbances which have originated off the coast of Africa this season, it has been slightly removed from the large area of dry and dusty air which is in place across the Atlantic from the African coast to the eastern Caribbean. This air has limited the development of previous waves.

According to Kottlowski, "The dust acts to limit thunderstorm development. Persistent thunderstorms help create lower pressure which then can lead to tropical development."

This system interacted with the dusty and dry air late last week which prohibited development, but that may change heading early this week.

The wave will track across the middle of the Lesser Antilles today and into the northern Caribbean by the middle of the week. This will bring a period of showers and gusty winds to portions of the Caribbean islands early this week.

Beyond the early part of the week, there remains a bit of uncertainty with the track of the storm.

There are two different scenarios after the storm moves into the eastern Caribbean, it will either track due west into the central and western Caribbean or to the northwest.

"A more northward track would favor development while a due west track would probably keep the system disorganized," Kottlowski added.

Keep checking back with the Hurricane Center through early next week with the latest thinking on the development of this wave.


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