By Dr. Jeff Masters 2:48 PM GMT on August 19, 2013
There are no tropical disturbances of note in the Atlantic today. The tropical wave off the coast of Africa (94L) that we were watching on Sunday has become too disorganized to be a threat to develop. None of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone formation in the Atlantic this week. In the Eastern Pacific, there is a tropical disturbance several hundred miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico that most of the models predict will develop by Thursday. In their 8 am EDT Monday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance a 20% of developing by Tuesday, and an 80% chance of developing by Saturday. The GFS and European models predict that this will become a tropical storm that will pass close to the tip of Baja on Friday or Saturday, respectively.
Figure 1. The third week of August is when Atlantic hurricane activity traditionally takes a large upswing, but that will not be the case in 2013.
We've had five named storms so far in the Atlantic this year, which is more that average for this point in the season. Usually, the fifth named storm does not arrive until August 31. However, we are well behind average for the arrival of the season's first hurricane, which usually occurs by August 10. The season's second hurricane usually arrives by August 28. It is questionable if we will see the season's first hurricane by that date, given the current lack of activity, the dry air moving across the Tropical Atlantic, and the lack of model predictions for tropical storm formation this week. Still, I'm not willing to downgrade the seasonal forecasts for above-average activity yet, as we are still three weeks away from the usual September 10 peak in activity, and the Atlantic is capable of getting very active in a hurry.