Aug 12, 2011

Tropics Going Cra Cra!

Tropical Depression 6 doesn't matter.  It's in the 'north Atlantic moving away from the Untied States.

Well I think it's safe to say that we have officially entered the Cape Verde Tropical Season.  This is the time of year we watch huge tropical waves come barreling off the coast of Africa and form into massive hurricanes.  Right now we are watching 4 low pressure systems that have the potential to become tropical cyclones.  Two of those systems have somewhat of a chance of pushing swell in our direction late next week.

Excluding 95L and Tropical Depression 6, 93L right now has the best chance to form into a tropical cyclone.  Although there is some circulation, there is a large mass of dry air to it's north and moderate wind shear not helping things out currently. 93L is also still very far away.

The second storm that could push some swell our way is 92L which is leading 93L.  Less organized than 93L but still showing signs of development 92L is expected to become better organized over the next several days as the wind shear decreases and conditions become more favorable.  Again 92L is leading 93L, but both are really far away.

"Wahhh wahhhh! Mike we know where you get all of your info about storms so stop copying it all!"

No crap I look at Swellinfo but I also like looking at a few maps which most of you haters overlook.

Saharan Air Layer (SAL)

Generally speaking the SAL is the mineral deposits (sand) that get thrown out to sea during large Sahara Desert storms.  It's not hard to put two and two together and figure out dry sandy air isn't good for the formation of tropical storms.

I tried my best to write in the storm number and the direction.  The deeper the red/orange the drier the air.  Notice that the SAL can consume a very large area of ocean. The direction of the storms is approx because it's a little hard to tell when I animate the map.

But you can see how much the SAL influences low pressure systems.  Another thing to remember about the SAL is that winds can be pretty strong.  These strong dry air winds act to shear storms away just like regular wind shear.  So you can see the north side of 93L is interacting with the large region of SAL.  93 is moving due west which will put it in a region of moister air.  92L is suffering not only from wind shear but also a lot of dry air as the map shows. 

This is a good tool to determine short range intensity forecasts of growing storms. 

Over the next week or so I'll post all of the maps I use in conjunction with the literature the NHC puts out.



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