June 25, 2022

Two Tropical Disturbances To Watch In The Atlantic As June Rolls To A Close

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is watching two disturbances in the Atlantic basin for potential tropical development as we head into the last week of June. One disturbance in the Gulf will bring heavy rain to coastal communities regardless of development, while the other is far out in the tropical Atlantic, with plenty of time to watch before it threatens land.

Gulf Disturbance

A cluster of thunderstorms hanging out over the northern Gulf Coast has a 20 percent (low) chance of developing into a tropical depression over the next couple of days.

This disturbance is one of those situations where it's bringing noteworthy impacts whether or not it actually forms into anything more. Heavy rain is falling over portions of southern Alabama, southern Mississippi, and southeastern Louisiana.

The latest rainfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center calls for an additional 3-5+ inches of rain over the next few days. Heavy, tropical rainfall will lead to the threat for localized flooding in some areas.

It's worth watching regardless, because this is exactly where you'd expect to see a tropical system form in June.

Speaking of where it's normal to see storms...

Tropical Atlantic Disturbance

It's a bit unusual to talk about tropical development deep in the tropical Atlantic around the beginning of the season. Early-season storms tend to form close to land, often stemming off of decayed fronts or thunderstorm complexes. We don't start seeing true tropical waves rolling off the coast of Africa until we get closer to August.

Never say never, though. The NHC says there's a 60 percent (medium) chance of a tropical disturbance developing over the next couple of days as it steadily makes its way toward the Lesser Antilles. 

It's far enough from land that we don't have to worry about it just yet. There's plenty of time to watch its potential development and where it'll track.

Source: Tropical Tidbits

There's a strong ridge of high pressure over the central and eastern Atlantic Ocean that'll steer this system. The strength of the ridge will determine how far north it goes.

A stronger ridge will push it farther south—think Aruba and Nicaragua—while a weaker ridge would allow the system to pull farther north.

Slow Start To The Season...For Once

This year's seen a much slower start to hurricane season than we've seen in the past couple of years. 2022 is the first season since 2014 that didn't see its first named storm form before June 1st.

We did cut it close, though, when Tropical Storm Alex formed south of Bermuda after drenching Florida as a will-it-or-won't-it-develop type of deal.

Forecasters across the board expect this hurricane season to see above-average activity, though, as a result of La Niña and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures across the Atlantic.

It's a cliché, but remember that it really only takes one storm to make any hurricane season a bad hurricane season for you. Some of the worst damage has resulted from tremendous flooding produced by tropical storms, tropical depressions, and unnamed tropical disturbances.

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I graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2014 with a degree in political science and a minor in meteorology. I contribute to The Weather Network as a digital writer, and I've written for Forbes, the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, Popular Science, Mental Floss, and Gawker's The Vane. My latest book, The Skies Above, is now available. My first book, The Extreme Weather Survival Manual, arrived in October 2015.

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