How May Africa Continue to Influence the Remainder of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season? (credit: NBC 6 Chief Meteorologist John Morales)
DISCUSSION: As we now approach the heart of the 2018 tropical Atlantic hurricane season, there is little to no debate across the atmospheric science community that the tropical Atlantic Ocean basin has indeed finally fired up. As a result of this recent spike in tropical development across a good portion of the tropical Atlantic, there has continued to be substantial conversation regarding how long this increased activity may persist for an how much of an influence Africa may continue to have during the course of this more active period. The reason for why Africa is being so closely watched during this active period is due to the fact that on a seasonal basis there are often dozens and dozens of tropical waves which emerge off the west coast of Africa. These tropical waves are the "seed" which helps to "plant the foundation" for further potential tropical cyclone development once these tropical waves begin to interact with the warmer waters of the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
Hence, the reason for why many meteorologists are becoming increasingly concerned about Africa and the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean is a result of the persistent progression of convectively invigorated tropical waves which are emerging one after another at the present time. Thus, the predominant thought process had by many right now is that since the earlier onslaught of Saharan Dust has finally begun to slightly abate and the corresponding average decrease in vertical wind shear associated with the African Easterly Jet (AEJ) for the time being (i.e., a factor which has been found historically unfavorable for tropical cyclone development), there is a concern for a semi-lengthy active period for basin-wide tropical activity. Even despite the fact that sea-surface temperatures across key tropical development zones have been slightly below-normal, many areas have still continued to remain sufficiently warm to support tropical cyclone development.
Thus, as shown in the graphic above (courtesy of NBC 6 Miami's Chief Meteorologist John Morales), there are a pair of waves emerging off of Africa right now with even more on the way soon. Therefore, as we continue to go through the remainder of September, and then October as well as November, be sure to stay tuned and keep the future role of Africa in mind in future website articles as well as Twitter and/or Facebook posts in the coming days and weeks ahead.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz