Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Atlantic Hurricane Drought

Tropical depression is setting in at the Weather Channel.  Despite early forecasts for a reasonably active hurricane season, none of the named storms have met hurricane criteria and none are expected to develop over the next week.

While tropical waves continue to move westward off the African coast, they have been dissipating amidst a flow of dry air from the Saharan Desert.  Those that have managed to avoid annihilation in the central Atlantic have encountered unfavorable winds over the Caribbean, dismantling their structure and sending their remnants out to sea.

As a result, the hourly tropical updates on the Weather Channel have morphed into repetitious explanations of why nothing is happening.  Though conditions may change in September, the annual peak of the hurricane season, it appears very unlikely that their revised forecast of eight hurricanes will be anywhere close to accurate.  And while the TV meteorologists, like the rest of us, do not want to see any destructive storms, their disappointment is obvious; after all, they live to explain the dynamics of hurricanes, to keep us tuned in for the latest path projections and to report from the scene of a landfall, standing in the wind and rain like human weather vanes.