Monday, July 04, 2022

July Tropical Climatology

 The Tropical Atlantic - Quiet For Now


After last week's spurt of activity (2 named storms; Bonnie & Colin) the Atlantic and Caribbean have gone quiet again, and no new systems are expected to develop over the next few days.  

But we know from history, that we are just getting started into Hurricane season, and there will be much more to come.  

On average, we don't normally see our first named Atlantic storm until July 9th and our first hurricane until mid-August (see chart below) - so going into July with 3 tropical storms in the books, we find ourselves well ahead of the curve.

While it is impossible to predict how active the next 30 days will be, in May NOAA issued their initial Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, calling for a Busy 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

As we've discussed the past two hurricane seasons (see Why Preparing For This Year's Hurricane Season Will Be `Different') - our COVID-19 pandemic isn't over - and can still complicate nearly every aspect of hurricane season, including evacuation, staying in shelters, and even the time it will take for communities to restore utilities and provide disaster relief after the storm.

Although the exact number and location of tropical systems are impossible to predict, we do know that as summer progresses, the waters of the Atlantic continue to get warmer and more conducive for cyclone formation.  

While things begin to heat up in July, it is usually during August and September when the Cape Verde basin awakens and begins to produce what often turn into the largest and most persistent storms (see comparison map below).

July tropical systems tend to form in the Eastern Caribbean, The Gulf of Mexico, or off the Southeastern Atlantic coastline of the United States.  While not usually as powerful as the storms of Aug-Sep-Oct., their close proximity to land can cut down the amount of warning time.

You can find much more on Hurricane Climatology at NOAA’s Tropical Cyclone Climatology page.

As we've discussed previously, you don't have to live right on the coast to be affected by a land falling hurricane.  Historically, more than half of all hurricane-related deaths have been due to fresh water flooding, sometimes hundreds of miles from the point of landfall. 
So - even if you live far from the coast - if you live in any of the shaded areas in the map above plan a visit to NOAA's National Hurricane Preparedness web page, and decide what you need to do now to keep you, your family, and your property safe during the coming tropical season.

While this blog, and many other internet sources (I follow Mark Sudduth's Hurricane Track, and Mike's Weather page), will cover this year's hurricane season. your primary source of forecast information should always be the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

These are the real experts, and the only ones you should rely on to track and forecast the storm.

If you are on Twitter, you should also follow @FEMA, @NHC_Atlantic, @NHC_Pacific and @ReadyGov and of course take direction from your local Emergency Management Office.