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A quiet week ahead in the tropics?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:10 PM GMT on August 06, 2007

Well, I'm back to blogging after an enjoyable week off camping and paddling along Lake Huron. It was a good time to be gone--significant landfalling storms in late July and early August are uncommon, and this year was no exception. The quiet conditions look likely to continue this week. There are no threat areas to discuss in the Atlantic, and none of the reliable computer models are forecasting any development over the next seven days. The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the band of active thunderstorms between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands that frequently serves as a genesis region for August tropical storms, is relatively quiet right now. However, it would not surprise me to see some activity in the ITCZ late this week. Ocean temperatures continue to warm, headed towards their early September peak. Wind shear and Saharan dry air/dust activity are near normal or below normal between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. The long-range steering current forecast from the GFS model continues to show a near-normal pattern, with the jet stream not forecast to "lock in" to a configuration that will enhance the risk of a hurricane strike to any particular region. But it isn't until around August 18 that hurricane activity historically begins its major activity period, so we may still have another quiet week or two ahead.

Figure 1. This morning's visible satellite image from the Navy web site, showing a relatively quiet Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and a modest cloud of African dust just north of the Cape Verde Islands.

I'll be back with a new blog on Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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