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Tropical update for the end of July

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Posted at 7:18 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 08:18:00-04

The first real rumblings of the tropics picked up last week with the seventh and eighth named storms of the season developing almost simultaneously with Hanna and Gonzalo adding to the 2020 tally.

Hanna is now a tropical depression sitting in central Mexico, after making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane along the Texas coast on Saturday and Gonzalo also fizzled as it got into the Caribbean.

There had been hints of a series of waves coming off the African coast, and while there's still a tropical wave worth watching, it looks like we may have some help with African dust.

There's some model support for further development which goes back to last week, however, the wave is currently sitting in a pretty hostile environment for tropical systems.

This is the same area that Gonzalo really struggled in and with the infusion of drier air it wouldn't be surprising if the developmental chances start to drop if the system continues to look this ragged over the next 24 hours.

The good news is that even if this does develop then there's a good chance it hooks north once it gets to the Caribbean which would keep it out of the Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic coastline.

Keep in mind when looking at spaghetti charts that intensity isn't really addressed and they can change quickly as the center of circulation moves around a little but it is good to see them in somewhat agreement on staying east.

There's some model indications that if the system doesn't get its act together then the moisture from the system could move into the Gulf of Mexico before getting caught up in a trough, but that starts to get into the late part of the forecast which means a lot less confidence.

While there's a solid stream of moisture through the tropical Atlantic, and there were early indications of a couple of waves that were lining up to come off of Africa it seems that the Saharan dust is picking back up.

After a lull of a few weeks which allowed the tropics to heat a up a little it appears that the dust may be making another push into the Atlantic which would greatly limit the development potential of any of these waves.

This could buy us an extra quiet week or two, which this time of year is always a good thing, before it seems to settle back down a look a little less pronounced by the middle of next work week.

After the first real busy week of the tropical season we were given yet another reminder that we need to start taking the tropics seriously and making sure our plans are in place.

I know that this message can seem redundant and excessive but it does bare repeating that it's vitally important to be prepared for these storms so that there isn't a big scramble when they approach.

Louisiana has been very lucky the last several years, that luck continued again this passed weekend with Hanna moving to our south, but that luck can build complacency and that's what we all need to work hard to avoid.