For the latest information on storm activity in the Cayman Islands, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit Storm Centre.
After a three-week lull, the Atlantic Hurricane basin is heating up. In the last 48 hours, the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida, issued an update which highlighted two sub-tropical disturbances that could develop into tropical storms.
The first disturbance is a tropical wave, which is currently located in the south-central Atlantic Ocean. Forecasters at the NHC say the system is currently producing, “a broad area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms”.
As of 11am on 5 August, the tropical wave was moving in a west-north-westerly direction at about 15mph.
“Environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for some slow development east of the Lesser Antilles by early next week,” reads the forecast in part.
Forecasters say there is almost no chance of further development of this system within the next 48 hours. However, there is a 20% chance of further development during the next five days.
Further east, there is another system which is currently located over Senegal, west Africa. Forecasters say that system is expected to leave the west African coast later today, (5 August) and enter the Atlantic Ocean to more favourable conditions.
The NHC’s tropical weather outlook reads, “Environmental conditions appear somewhat conducive for gradual development, and a tropical depression could form over the eastern tropical Atlantic by late Sunday or early next week, while the system moves westward… at about 15mph.”
This system currently has a 20% chance of further development during the next 48 hours, and a 60% chance of further development during the next five days.
While the Atlantic basin enjoyed suppressed storm activity, the Pacific was not so fortunate.
In the last three weeks, four different systems have developed. At present, they pose no immediate threat to any landmass.
Approaching the halfway mark
The end of August will mark the half-way point of the 2021 hurricane season, which often coincides with the peak of storm development.
“For the last three weeks the Atlantic basin has enjoyed a lull of storm activity largely because of continued presence of the Sahara Dust cloud, which has been causing dry and arid conditions,” said Gilbert Miller, a forecaster at the Cayman Island National Weather Service.
Miller said, despite the lack of storm activity, the Atlantic basin was currently seeing the development of a week La Nina which would lead to more favourable conditions for storm development.
“It is normal to experience a lull in storm activity as we lead up to the halfway point of the hurricane season however, people should remember that we are now entering a period where storms develop closer to Cayman and could cause significantly reduced warning time,” he said.