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Tropical Tracker: Tropics take a much-needed break

Tropical activity could increase again in October

Tropical Satellite
Tropical Satellite

ORLANDO, Fla. – For the first time in a very long time, there are no active tropical systems in the Atlantic. Beta and Teddy made landfall early in the week and are now post-tropical.

The ACE, or accumulated cyclone energy, a measure of systems that takes into account intensity and longevity of the storm, jumped significantly over the past week. Most of this was generated by monster hurricane Teddy that for most of its life was over the open water.

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The ACE for the season now stands at 104.4. The average ACE to date is 73.3.

Notably, Paulette briefly came back from the grave earlier in the week in the North Atlantic. It had been a post-tropical low, but the center of Paulette was still intact as it meandered through the North Atlantic. Since it never lost that center, once the storm regained tropical characteristics it retained the name, rather than becoming a new named system.

This break in the action may last through the end of September before tropical activity pics back up in October. A storm can still develop by the end of September, but the flurry of activity that was the past few weeks of September is shutting down for now. This break is brought to you the Madden-Juilan Oscillation moving into its suppressed phase for the Atlantic Basin.

Moving Into October

Climatologically, the Caribbean is favored for development in the month of October. Think storms like Wilma, Michael and Sandy. Storms aren’t always as strong as the storms mentioned, but their origins were similar.

As we start October, development appears possible in the Western Caribbean.

The Western Caribbean has a lot of untapped energy for tropical systems to use. The water is not only extremely warm in this part of the world, but that warmth also extends well beneath the surface. The darker the red and orange color in the map below represents the higher available energy for storms to use. If a storm developed in this region it would have the potential to thrive. If a storm developed in this part of the world, Florida would have to pay close attention.

Darker colors equal more available energy for tropical systems to use.
Darker colors equal more available energy for tropical systems to use.

The blue color represents much lower available energy. Note the blue color near the Florida Panhandle from slow-moving Sally churning and upwelling cooler water from deep in the Gulf of Mexico.

After a relative lull, things could get moving again later in October. Enjoy the break while we have it.


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