Potential for Atlantic Caribbean Drought to End Soon
The potential for the Atlantic Basin to reactivate will increase as a tropical wave tracks through the Caribbean Sea this week.
While the eastern Pacific Ocean has been busy, the Atlantic Basin has been without a tropical storm since Danielle roamed the Bay of Campeche in late June.
“Weak disturbances have been moving westward from Africa over the past couple of months,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
“Up to this point, there has been too much dry air and dust from the Sahara Desert for these systems to develop,” Kottlowski said, adding that dry air is common during June and July over much of the Atlantic.
However, a tropical wave is currently being monitored to overcome obstacles in its path and end the tropical drought in the Atlantic Basin.
The tropical wave will race from the Leeward Islands and south of the Greater Antilles early this week, reaching the western Caribbean Sea by midweek. The potential for development will progressively increase during this time.
The quick-forward speed of the wave is currently the main inhibitor against it organizing into a tropical depression.
“The wave is moving westward at 20-25 mph,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis.
Its forward speed should lessen by midweek, and Travis anticipates the overall environment should become more conducive for the wave to organize into a tropical depression or storm.
The next tropical storm in the Atlantic would acquire the name “Earl.”
“Even if the wave fails to develop before reaching central America or Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, it could then organize in the Bay of Campeche later in the week,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.
Despite initially struggling to become a tropical depression, the wave will continue to spread heavy and gusty showers and thunderstorms across the Caribbean Sea this week.
“The heaviest rain will target Puerto Rico and Hispaniola on Sunday night before expanding into Jamaica on Monday,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister said.
Localized flash flooding can result, especially in the higher terrain.
The downpours will shift to the northern Central American nations and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula during the middle and latter part of this week.
The flood risk, gusty winds and surf would increase if the wave becomes more organized and strengthens in the western Caribbean or southwestern Gulf of Mexico.
Residents and visitors to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize should continue to check back with AccuWeather for updates on this potential tropical threat.
If the system tracks to the Bay of Campeche, those in eastern mainland Mexico and South Texas could face impacts next weekend.
The remainder of the Atlantic Basin is quiet. The tropical low that was being monitored by AccuWeather meteorologists has weakened to a more disorganized tropical wave.
“[The wave] is encountering an area of dry, dusty air and moderate wind shear, which are acting to limit any further organization,” Travis said.
Wind shear refers to the changing of the speed and direction of winds at different layers of the atmosphere. Strong wind shear can prevent a system from developing or even shred apart a tropical storm or hurricane.
Despite the active start to this hurricane season, a lull in activity in July in not uncommon. Tropical activity typically ramps up from August to early September as the waters of the Atlantic Basin reach their warmest.
On average, the second named storm in the Atlantic forms on August 1.