The middle of August typically brings an uptick in tropical activity in the Atlantic basin as we approach the most active part of season. Right now I'm keeping a close eye on two different areas of interest...
The first area I'm watching is in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba and Jamaica. At this point, it's simply an area of showers and thunderstorms with a mid-level circulation. The conditions are somewhat favorable for this system to become better organized, but it doesn't have a huge window of opportunity. As the weekend rolls around, this system (tropical or non-tropical) will begin interacting with parts of Central America. This interaction with land will quickly weaken anything that is able to develop.
The second area of interest may be of more importance to folks living in the United States. A strong tropical wave rolled off the coast of Africa earlier this week, in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean. It's managed to survive and thunderstorms are trying to organize into a cohesive cluster. If it can fight the unfavorable conditions, like the dry air coming off of the Sahara Desert, it may be able to develop. Looking over some of the long-range computer models, there's much disagreement as to what will happen with this system. Some of the models suggest not much development will occur, while others develop it into a fairly significant tropical system that will approach the Bahamas and possibly the East Coast by the middle of next week. As always, when trying to forecast activity in the tropics this far in advance, nothing is set in stone. It's just something to watch - and watch it I will.
Any questions about the tropics? Feel free to post them here in the comments section of this blog!