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Never Mind Bret, Season is Just Getting Started

July 21, 2011


The circle gets the square, or in this case, the big red circle near Africa has room to become the strongest feature yet for the 2011 season.

“A stronger tropical wave now over the eastern North Atlantic might be a feature to watch during the next week or so.”While Bret is now pushing out to sea and remains no threat to the mainland U.S., indications continue to point toward a busy August and September as far as hurricanes are concerned.

A sizable tropical wave has rolled westward, off the coast of Africa, and bears watching as it cruises along through Antilles waters this weekend.

It is still a little early to expect much from the Cape Verde area, but one of the tropical waves could help to breed a tropical cyclone in the southwestern part of the Atlantic Basin by next week.

According to Tropical Weather and Hurricane Expert Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski, “A stronger tropical wave now over the eastern North Atlantic might be a feature to watch during the next week or so.”

With high pressure north of the system working to help spin it up, we will have to see how wind shear plays out late this week into next week.

“Some of our forecast tools are hinting at developing tropical system in the northwestern Caribbean or the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early next week,” Kottlowski said.

2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Re-Evaluated

The AccuWeather Hurricane Forecast Team has re-evaluated the AccuWeather 2011 North Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast. We have decided not to make any changes to the update issued in May. So, we continue to forecast 15 named storms, eight of which will be hurricanes and four will be major hurricanes.

These numbers are still above the long-term averages of 10 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

“While this forecast is also portraying a less active year than last year overall, we still feel the impact on the United States will be greater this year compared to last year,” Kottlowski said.

That impact being more landfalls or potentially damaging conditions by near misses. During 2010, only Bonnie made one direct landfall in the U.S. Alex plowed into Mexico, bringing locally heavy rain to southern Texas. Earl passed just to the east of Cape Hatteras, N.C., bringing modest wind and rain. Hermine made landfall in Mexico first before rolling into Texas with heavy rain and thunderstorms. Nicole cruised the waters of the Florida Straits with minimal impact on the U.S.

With Bret, we have reached number two on the named storm list. Since 2011 is forecast to be similar to the 2008 season, because of weather trends, we are on track with that season so far.

Kottlowski points out that warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures and lower-than-average barometric pressure over the Atlantic Basin support an above-average tropical cyclone season for the region.

Kottlowski also points out that wind shear and the presence of dry air is higher than typical years and could work against the favorable factors.

While a big area of high pressure is still in the way of strong development of tropical features, Kottlowski feels that this particular feature will have less influence by August.

“Typically more than half of all named storms occur during August and September,” Kottlowski said.

As we often see at this point in the season, anticipation and even impatience tend to get in the way of the public’s perception of the hurricane season.

“The most active part of the season is yet to come and all indications are that August and September should be very busy,” Kottlowski said in closing.

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