The Atlantic hurricane season normally gets off to a slow start and this season we have had three named storms so far, Alex, Bonnie and Colin.
The tropics have been quiet as plumes of Saharan dust have continually moved off the coast of Africa and across the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, drying out the atmosphere.
Although the tropics have been quiet since early July, activity will likely ramp up as we head through August and early September with the average peak of the Atlantic hurricane season September 10th.
Some of the factors for the increased activity in August are:
-Easterly waves moving off the coast of Africa are more developed, often the beginning of tropical systems.
-The Saharan air layer which normally squelches tropical development due to dry air, decreases through August.
-Wind shear, which is the change in wind speed and/or direction with height, tends to be low which is more favorable for tropical development.
-Sea-surface temperatures continue to rise toward a peak in early fall, providing more potential energy for a tropical cyclone.
-Atmospheric instability tends to be higher as we head toward early fall.
So it's best to be prepared now, before a storm develops and have a plan ready for you and your family. Take stock of your emergency supplies, keep an evacuation plan in mind, and always keep updated on the latest forecasts so you’re ready for whatever comes your way.