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Waves of thunderstorms to pave way for uptick in Atlantic tropical storms, hurricanes during August

By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
August 01, 2016, 12:41:42 AM EDT

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Rounds of showers and thunderstorms moving westward off the coast of Africa may pave the way for future tropical systems over the Atlantic Ocean in the weeks ahead.

"Weak disturbances have been moving westward from Africa over the past couple of months," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

"Up to this point, there has been too much dry air and dust from the Sahara Desert for these systems to develop," Kottlowski said, adding that dry air is common during June and July over much of the Atlantic.


The circulation around an unusually strong area of high pressure over the central Atlantic has been scooping up the dry air and dust and distributing it across a large part of the basin.

Over time, the systems could overcome these factors, especially as successive systems create a train of moisture in their wake.

With progressively more moisture available and less dry air, the chance for development of tropical systems originating from Africa will increase, as is often the case, moving forward in August and September.

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A couple of systems, which emerged from the west coast of Africa recently, will wander slowly toward the west-northwest into early August.
Both systems will continue to struggle with dry air, minimizing the extent of showers and thunderstorms.

There will be a brief window that the system close to Africa could overcome dry air and strengthen into a tropical depression this weekend. Beyond this weekend, winds surrounding the system may be too disruptive for further development.


"We expect the system closest to Africa to reach the Lesser Antilles around the middle of next week with an uptick in showers and thunderstorms," Kottlowski said.

The system farther to the west over the Atlantic will cross the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea, where winds will tend to inhibit development during this weekend.

"It is possible the farther west system could reach more favorable conditions for development by early next week," Kottlowski said.

An uptick of showers and thunderstorms associated with the western system could occur around the Yucatan Peninsula during Tuesday.

Additional systems will continue to roll westward through much of the balance of hurricane season, which concludes on Nov. 30.

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