Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hurricane Watch: Energy market watching tropical wave in Atlantic

Just a heads-up.
From Reuters:
A strong tropical wave in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa could develop into a tropical cyclone over the next couple of days, meteorologists at the U.S. National Hurricane Center and AccuWeather.com said Tuesday.

The system is moving westward at about 15 to 20 miles per hour.

AccuWeather.com pointed to six tropical waves in the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea but said the one near the west coast of Africa was the strongest and could possibly develop over the next couple of days....MORE

From Jeff Masters Wunderblog:

A strong tropical wave (Invest 92L) moved off the coast of Africa last night, south of the Cape Verde Islands. This low has the potential to develop into a tropical depression late this week as it moves westwards at 15-20 mph. The low is under about 10 knots of wind shear, which is favorable for development. Sea Surface Temperatures are about 28°C, which is about 2-3°C above average for this date, and well above the 26°C threshold for tropical storm formation. There is not much African dust or dry air near the storm, but so far the low has not been able to generate much heavy thunderstorm activity. The low has plenty of spin, and has developed some broad, curved bands that are a sign of organization. I can't really find any negatives for development, except for climatology--there has never been a tropical depression that has formed east of 34° W longitude in the first half of July... (see the first image I posted in yesterday's July Atlantic hurricane outlook)....

From SciGuy July 1, 2007:

Some activity in the deep tropics
There's a strong tropical wave in the deep tropics that, while unlikely to affect Texas or probably even the United States, is worth watching for a couple of reasons.

1. The system is a classic tropical-wave-off-Africa type storm, which don't typically happen this early in the year. However, the sea surface temperatures in this region are higher than normal, so it's possible this system may develop.

2. Another argument in the favor of development is GFS model, which has been correct in handling the system for nearly a week now. The GFS predicts moderate development of the wave during the next week, and then re-curves it northward before it comes close to reaching North America....MORE

From SciGuy, June 16, 2007:

...One of the most important factors for storms is sea surface temperatures. When they reach 80 F (27 C), areas of low pressure have a much better chance to develop into tropical storms. If the water is warmer still the storms have a chance to become hurricanes. So what's the water like out there?

Here are the water temperatures for the Gulf of Mexico, as of Saturday:


And here are the water temperatures for the same day, one year ago:


The good news is that temperatures are slightly cooler than last year, generally, across the Gulf of Mexico. The same trend holds true across most of the Atlantic basin. (See June 14, 2008 temps, and June 14, 2007 temps.) So the water, presently, is moderately cooler....