TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — We’re slowly creeping closer to the time of year when tropical activity starts to pick up, but things are still staying quiet for now thanks to plenty of Saharan dust.
The National Hurricane Center does not anticipate any new tropical cyclones developing in the Atlantic basin in the next five days.
“I looked at the computer models beyond that to about a week and half out – still nothing out there at all,” WFLA Chief Meteorologist and Climate Specialist Jeff Berardelli said. “So we’re going to stay nice and quiet for quite a while, which is the way we want it to stay.”
The tropics are still quiet thanks, in part, to Saharan dust over the Atlantic. The dry dust from the Sahara Desert often limits tropical development because tropical systems need moisture to form and strengthen. The winds that push the dust also help limit any potential organization.
Saharan dust plumes are quite normal in May, June and into July. Once the dust subsides is when we typically see an uptick in tropical activity.
Tropical activity usually starts to pick up in August. the statistical peak of hurricane season is Sept. 10. Roughly two-thirds of all tropical systems in the Atlantic basin form in August or September.
Once tropical activity does start to pick up, NOAA has four new products that it hopes will help with flood hazards. NOAA’s National Water Center launched the new products this year: an experimental Flood Hazard Outlook, experimental National Hydrologic Discussion, experimental Area Hydrologic Discussion and experimental NWC Visualization Services.
Tracking the Tropics streams at 2 p.m. ET every Wednesday during hurricane season. For the latest updates, check out our Tracking the Tropics website.