Atlantic is quiet, what to expect for the remainder of July - 7/14/12
Good afternoon and welcome to my tropical weather update for Saturday, July 14th, 2012. The tropics are very quiet and is expected to remain so for the next 5 days. The Eastern Pacific has been rolling hurricane after hurricane, with currently Hurricane Fabio making the headlines. The EPAC season will probably be one of the more active Julys, today we will discuss what to possibly expect not only for the rest of July but possibly for the rest of the season.
(figure 1. The tropical Atlantic as of this update)
Chances are now very likely that 2012 will become an El Nino year, but what we don't know is how exactly this will hurt our hurricane season. There have been no disturbances in the Atlantic since Debby thanks to the Madden-Julian Oscillation leaving our basin. However, we are still above average in named storms and will continue to be so for about another month assuming no more names develop. This El Nino event will probably persist and become even stronger as the year goes on, bringing higher shear to the Main Development Region and limiting the amount of Cape Verde majors we will see this year. That being said, we have already had two US landfalls this year, Debby and Beryl, which shows that even in El Nino years such events can happen and it really only takes one.
(figure 2. SST anomalies reveal the continued development of El Nino in our basin.)
Wind shear in the Atlantic is high and will probably continue to be high in our basin. However, there is a fair chance that the next two weeks we might have to be looking off the US East Coast for development of a trough split. These are hard to predict and often benign in nature, especially in July. The El Nino so far has kept in check the SST's being too high but they are still somewhat above average, especially over the Gulf Stream. I believe that if we do get a named storm this month that is how it will develop.
(figure 3. SST anomalies reveal that we are generally above average but much above average off the US East Coast)
Based on this, I believe the chances are about ~30-50% of us seeing another named storm before August. However, if 2009 is any indicator we will probably have a large blowup of 2-3 named storms in August followed by a slow pace after that. I see no reason though thanks to the early padding of named storms we have seen we won't get to at least 11 named storms, but in general it will be a near average season. However, like I said earlier it really only takes one to cause a difference.