Sailboat in Calm Tropical Waters

Sailboat in Calm Tropical Waters

Storm Ends The Calmest North Atlantic Summer Since World War II

John Konrad
Total Views: 3070
August 31, 2022

Was this summer the calm before the big storm?

by John Konrad (gCaptain) As Super Typhoon Hinnamnor is bearing down on Japan, the North Atlantic Ocean has experienced the quietest months of July and August since 1941. However, that could change as a new storm develops in the Caribbean and meteorologists predict a stormy fall season.

Named storms have skipped August in the Atlantic only three times on record – 1997, 1961, and 2022 – but meteorologists are monitoring a disturbance that’s moving west. It could gather strength and set off a string of late-season storms.

The National Hurricane Center reports a low-pressure system 850 miles east of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. There’s a 50% chance it will develop into a tropical storm by Friday, and an 80% likelihood within five days. The National Hurricane Center says the chances that the storm would come close to the United States is ‘very low’ at this time but it could plague islands and ships in the Caribbean.

“We will have to monitor the situation in the next couple of days to see where it develops in order to know more if it remains at sea,” said Maria Torres, a spokeswoman for the US National Hurricane Center.

Only three North Atlantic storms have been named this year. Hurricane Bonnie was the worst of the trio but it was only a tropical cyclone until it made the crossover from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, the first to do so since Hurricane Otto in 2016.

Tropical Storm Colin, the most recent named storm, dissipated during the 4th of July weekend.

Hurricane Bonnie was the first Atlantic tropical storm to cross into the Pacific since Hurricane Otto in 2016

Bernie Rayno, a meteorologist at AccuWeather, told CNBC this morning that tropical storms need three main things to develop:

  • Warm water
  • Vertical wind shear
  • A moist unstable atmosphere

“So far this year, the atmosphere has been dry which has contributed to a slower season,” said Rayno. “But there is still plenty of time for severe weather to form.”

“We’ve had a pattern over the last seven years that fostered Hurricane development, but not this year.” Acuweather’s Dan Kottlowski, told the New York Times. “But it’s still highly possible that strong hurricanes will form in the latter part of September to October.”

This month, NOAA is asking mariners to remain vigilant. The agency predicts that the North Atlantic could see 14 to 20 named storms, including up to 10 hurricanes–which would make this the seventh year in a row with an above normal season. This is because current conditions in the Atlantic basin indicate that August may be the calm before the storm.

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