Danielle and Earl Early Thursday

The peak period of the Atlantic tropical cyclone season is underway and two active storms are churning across the open waters with a new tropical wave coming off the west African coast.

The composite satellite image above shows the situation at 2am(EDT) Thursday. It is still dark in Europe and the US and urban lights are noticeable in the image. Height lines at the 500mb have been added to the image to help delineate the areas of upper atmosphere high and low pressure.

Danielle and Earl are moving westward along the bottom edge of a large area of high pressure that stretches from the western US to north Africa, roughly between the 15th and 30th parallels. Centers of low pressure are over the north Atlantic and Canada with waves referred to as troughs (shorthand “trofs”) extending southward.

Tropical cyclones tend to be pulled toward these low pressure “trofs”. The end result, Danielle is turning northward and is expected to pass to the east of Bermuda. Earl is tracking slightly farther south and should continue a westward track for a while but eventually be drawn north by the “trof” that is now over Canada and the eastern US. Earl, for the moment, is forecast to pass west of Bermuda but well east of the US east coast.

If the next wave or two coming off the African coast strengthen into tropical cyclones at some point, the low pressure wave pattern north of the 30th parallel will likely be different and storms could get closer to the US coast.

The image above is the late morning visible image of Danielle. An impressive eye is developing as wind speed increases.

Check out the WBAL-TV Hurricane Section on the WEB for the latest on the tropics. Click on this link: http://www.wbaltv.com/weather/grid.html#HEARSTWX=http%3A//www.wbaltv.com/weather/19625481/media.html%3Fqs%3D%3Bref%3D/weather/19626622/media.html%3Blongname%3DHurricane

John Collins

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One Response

  1. Hello John, My question to you as i am a faithful fan is do you think that the formation of these waves are a precursor to a season of strong “storms'”? just wondering since there seem to be three here in a row. Enjoy reading your insights and those of Tom. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to comment. Your Faithful Fan, Roland

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