Quiet in the Atlantic

By Dr. Jeff Masters
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Published: 1:15 PM GMT on September 25, 2013

In the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico, a stalled stationary front is bringing heavy thunderstorms to west-central Florida, where heavy rains of up to six inches have caused flooding problems. A weak area of low pressure along this front will move over the coastal waters several hundred miles offshore of North Carolina by Friday, when an extratropical storm is expected to develop. Ocean temperatures off the North Carolina coast are 26 - 27°C, which is warm enough to help give the storm some extra energy and moisture. However, wind shear will be high, and this storm is expected to stay non-tropical as it heads north-northeast, potentially bringing rainy weather to New England and the Canadian Maritime Provinces on Sunday and Monday. In their 8 am EDT Wednesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave no odds that anything tropical would spin up in the next five days. None of the reliable computer models for tropical cyclone genesis predicts development over the next five days, and the Atlantic is dominated by dry air and high wind shear. The next area to watch for development might be the Western Caribbean or the area between the Bahamas and Bermuda next week. However, chances of development will be below average for this time of year, due the fact we are in the suppressed phase of the MJO. This suppressed phase may end by mid-October, increasing the odds of development in about two weeks' time.


Figure 1. All quiet in the Atlantic: The Atlantic remains welcomely quiet at 8:15 am EDT on September 25, 2013, with an unusual lack of heavy thunderstorm activity for this time of year. Image credit: NOAA.

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Jeff Masters

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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Quiet in the Atlantic

In the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico, a stalled stationary front is bringing heavy thunderstorms to west-central Florida, where heavy rains of up to six inches have caused flooding problems. A weak area of low pressure along this front will move over the coastal waters several hundred miles offshore of North Carolina by Friday, when an extratropical storm is expected to develop. Ocean temperatures off the North Carolina coast are 26 - 27°C, which is warm enough to he...

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