Atlantic storm chatter on the wires

Monday 15th August 2016

Disturbance twenty four is centred around 650 miles north of the Amazon delta, westbound at a pointless 21 knots. Daft ground speed, dry air and upper level shear will continue to keep the system kitten-weak as it tracks west and no development is expected.

Disturbance twenty five has just passed the Cape Verde Islands and moving west at 18 knots. Conditions ahead of this system are a little more favourable for development than it has been for recent systems but not so on the Caribbean side which may mean a brief burst of energy as it crosses the water, but weakening thereafter.

There was chatter on the wires over the weekend of a rapid increase in storm propagation. I've taken a look at this in some detail today and have drawn a blank. There were some very ambitious theories being bandied about - one in particular from an old friend north of the United States who regular readers will recognise – but far too convoluted for my liking. I will take another stab in a week or two and things may change but, as things stand today, a reasonable assumption seems to be no more cyclone activity than we originally thought at the beginning of the season. Right now, there is still plenty of dry air across the tropical Atlantic and a tendency for strong high pressure and falling air which doesn't provide for enthusiastic cyclonic development. The guys in the Pacific are getting all the fun with rising air and plenty of moisture to draw on. Good lusty storm fuel. I do see a change coming towards the end of the month though - which is peak season anyway – when some of the wet air from the Pacific will jump the fence into the Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean, where warm water awaits. It only needs rising, circulating air and things will change. We will have further named storms this season, I just don't see them queuing up across the convergence zone today.

For those who dabble in such matters, these ramblings appear later each day on Twitter on @watkinsmarine along with posts of general maritime interest. Do join us.

Stand easy.

Back