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Swellinfo Tropical Update

Posted: Monday Aug 3, 2009     By: Swellinfo     Category: Forecast

The Atlantic tropics remain quiet, but there is plenty of time left.

As we start the month August, the Atlantic and Gulf waters have have yet to see a named tropical storm in 2009. It has been an especially quiet tropical Atlantic season thus far, and there are no signs of activity for the near future. But wave starved East and Gulf coast surfers should not fear, as climatologically speaking, we are just entering into the active season.

It is in August when the Cape Verde season begins. This marks the time when tropical waves off the West Coast of Africa increase. This is due to a decrease of wind shear, an increase in sea surface temperatures, and a decrease of dry and dusty air off of the African continent. The graph below shows the number of named storms for each day of the tropical atlantic season, aggregated over the past 100 years.

As you can see, the graph indicates a large peak in activity around the middle of September.

While tropical storms do develop in June and July it is not all that common. A typical year will have 2 or less storms during this time period. These storms typically form in the Gulf or Caribbean waters and do not become major hurricanes. The majority of major hurricanes develop from the tropical waves moving off of Africa.

So, yes, we are as quiet as can be, and yes the El Nino index seems to be on the rise (bad for tropical development), but no, all hope for fun hurricane swells should not be lost!

Keep it tuned to the Swellinfo Hurricane Center to keep track of the Atlantic Basin Outlook and any potential for developing storms.