JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There are no imminent threats to the First Coast at this time. It's always a good idea to check in often during this time of year. The Atlantic hurricane season peaks, according to climatology, on September 10.
Nonetheless, we are watching a few areas off the African coast:
1) The first one is what we need to watch more closely as some long-range computer models show it holding together as it travels west over the Atlantic Ocean.
A tropical wave just inland over Africa is producing a large area of showers and thunderstorms over the Guinea Highlands. This wave is expected to move off the west African coast later today. Environmental conditions appear somewhat conducive for gradual development, and a tropical depression could form over the eastern tropical Atlantic by early next week while the system moves westward to west-northwestward at about 15 mph.
2) A tropical wave located over the central tropical Atlantic is producing a broad area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for some slow development east of the Lesser Antilles by early next week while the disturbance moves west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph.
Looking deeper into the season, the Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Niña Watch with La Niña potentially emerging during September through November. La Niña can help make atmospheric conditions more conducive for tropical cyclones to form the Atlantic, and less conducive in the Eastern Pacific. If 2021 is any indicator so far of what lies ahead this season, it could continue to be an active year. As of the beginning of July, there have been fived named storms breaking the previous record set just last year. In August, the Climate Prediction Center will issue an updated hurricane outlook.
Hurricane season is already here and it's time to be prepared if you aren't already. Make sure you have had conversations with your loved ones about what you would do if a storm were to threaten.
This year, NOAA released the new seasonal averages for the Atlantic basin. According to the 30-year data from 1991 to 2020, the new averages include 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. The previous Atlantic storm averages, based on the period from 1981 to 2010, were 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. The averages from 1951-1980 , were 11 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 1 major.
Hurricane safety and preparedness are critically important before the season begins on June 1. NOAA’s National Weather Service provides resources to prepare for hurricane hazards and real-time updates about active weather systems from the National Hurricane Center at www.hurricanes.gov.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30.
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