Weather Nerd

All's quiet, for now

If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted anything here in a few days, it’s because, well, there’s nothing to report. After an unusually active first 3 1/2 weeks of July, all’s quiet on the tropical front. Invest 97L, the wave that once looked poised to become Edouard, has fizzled out, and the Atlantic basin is now so free of potential tropical trouble that the National Hurricane Center’s Tropical Weather Outlook says simply:

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC…CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO…

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

There is a new tropical wave just coming off Africa, but the NHC isn’t saything anything about it yet, perhaps having been chastened by 97L’s dissipation after their unusually-early discussion of its prospects (something Max Mayfield pointed out contemporaneously).

Speaking of Mayfield, the former NHC director and current South Florida weatherblogger reminds us: “Given the fact that we are approaching the more active portion of the hurricane season, it would be wise to take advantage of this lull in the action and dust off the hurricane plans and stock up on the supplies.”

Meanwhile, the Weather Channel’s Dr. Stu Ostro looks at whether this active July portends an active remainder of the season. (The short answer: maybe, but not necessarily.) In either case, it doesn’t really matter, and coastal residents should still follow Mayfield’s advice, because — as I and others are constantly pointing out — an active season is one where you get hit. The total number of storms is mostly just a curiosity (albeit one that the media loves to hype).

Incidentally, the death toll from Hurricane Dolly now stands at two. Also, it has been revealed that smugglers of drugs and illegal immigrants tried to use the storm to their advantage.

UPDATE: The 2pm EDT “Outlook” is a bit more active:

SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY IN THE NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO IS ASSOCIATED WITH A WEAK SURFACE TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE. NO SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED AS THE TROUGH MOVES SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD.

A TROPICAL WAVE HAS EMERGED OFF THE WEST COAST OF AFRICA AND SHOWS SOME SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION. SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS THE WAVE MOVES TO THE WEST-NORTHWEST AT ABOUT 15 MPH.

So, there are a couple of areas to watch, but nothing to worry about. The NHC rates both systems as having a “low” (less than 20%) probability of development in the next 48 hours.