Tropical Forecasters: Next Few Weeks Could be Very Active
Let me just go ahead and get this on "your radar" right now as far as the tropics go. There is pretty substantial evidence through computer modeling that the last half of August and the first part of September could really be rocking in the tropics. I don't mean the good kind of rocking either.
Several well-respected forecasters have made mention of a phenomenon known as the Madden-Julian Oscillation.
The MJO is an eastward moving disturbance of clouds, rainfall, winds, and pressure that traverses the planet in the tropics and returns to its initial starting point in 30 to 60 days, on average.
Global models put the MJO in the heart of the tropical Atlantic Basin by late next week. While that is no guarantee that the phenomenon will spark additional tropical development a lot of evidence suggests that it certainly could.
One more reason why the appearance of the MJO across the tropical Atlantic in the next week or so could be troubling is this. That particular time frame coincides with the major ramp-up to the peak of the hurricane season.
Officially the peak of the season is recognized as September 10th but the weeks leading up to that date and the weeks preceding that date are usually very active. Perhaps the instability provided by the MJO will do in the Atlantic what we've seen sparked in the Tropical Pacific.
Speaking of the tropics we still do not officially have Josephine as a Tropical Storm. Tropical Depression 11 is expected to strengthen and earn that name later today. However, the system was going through some unfavorable atmospheric conditions during the overnight hours and was not looking as impressive on satellite photos as it had been yesterday.