Posted: Sep 13, 2011 3:32 PM by Rob Perillo
Although the tropics have quieted down considerably as compared with the last two of weeks, the peak of hurricane season continues into mid-October.
Some of Louisiana's (and Acadiana's) bigger storms have come in the last week of September and in the first week of October including hurricanes Hilda in 1964, Lili in 2002 and Rita in 2005. So it is too early to breathe a sigh of relief when regarding the tropics.
Other than a rather disorganized Tropical Storm Maria just north of the Central Caribbean, there are just a few tropical waves worthy of our attention at this time.
Small disorganized disturbances were indicated Tuesday east of the Caribbean and emerging off of the African Coast. Both of these systems have some potential for development but at this time computer models are not suggesting significant organization.
Climatology, longer range models and Madden-JulianOscillation Forecasts all indicate that there will be some development in the Central tropical Atlantic over the next two weeks while the Caribbean will likely become active during the last week of September.
Interestingly enough, although it has been a busy tropical season with 14 named storms so far this season, only two have become hurricanes, Irene and Katia. Both of these storms attained major hurricane status during their lifetimes over water with only Irene striking much of the East Coast as a much lesser storm.
Based on earlier season forecasts of up to 4-5 major hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin it would not be unreasonable to believe that at least one or more major storms could be in the mix over the next three-four weeks with at least the Caribbean, and south of the major Caribbean islands possibly becoming the tropical hot spots later this month into early October.
Any storms that do develop in the Caribbean can be a threat to the Gulf of Mexico but persistent high pressure ridging in the Northwestern Gulf and increased frequency of frontal troughs will likely be players in steering currents over the next several weeks.