The busy start to September in the Atlantic Basin has faded away, with Danielle and Earl – two hurricanes that roamed the Atlantic last week – no longer being tracked by the National Hurricane Center.
Earl made the transition Saturday from a hurricane to an extratropical cyclone over the North Atlantic.
An extratropical cyclone is a system that gets its energy through the collision of a cold air mass with warm, moist air. This type of storm system can produce large swells and hurricane-force winds, but because it lacks a warm-air core, it is not considered a tropical storm or hurricane.
The remnants of former Hurricane Earl continue to produce large swells across much of the Atlantic, and the threat of life-threatening surf and rip currents is expected to continue through the start of the workweek along the U.S. East Coast.
Aside from Earl’s remnants, the Atlantic Basin is unusually quiet for mid-September – the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season – with only a pair of weak disturbances in the eastern and central tropical Atlantic grabbing the attention of the FOX Forecast Center.
“While it is fairly quiet for where we should be right now, it could ramp up at a moment’s notice,” FOX Weather meteorologist Katie Garner said.
Here’s what to expect in the tropics in the week ahead.
Eastern Atlantic tropical disturbance
A tropical disturbance centered just off the western coast of Africa is producing an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms.
According to the FOX Forecast Center, environmental conditions appear only marginally favorable, so any development of this disturbance will likely be slow to occur as it moves west or west-northwestward across the eastern tropical Atlantic through the end of the week.
The NHC currently gives the tropical disturbance a low chance of development in the next five days.
Central Atlantic tropical disturbance
Another tropical disturbance centered about halfway between the western coast of Africa and the Caribbean islands is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms.
According to the FOX Forecast Center, some slow development of this disturbance is possible over the next several days as it generally moves west to west-northwestward across the central tropical Atlantic and approaches the Caribbean islands by the end of the week.
The NHC also gives this tropical disturbance a low chance of development in the next five days.
2022 Atlantic hurricane season off to a slow start
Early to mid-September is the time of the season when sea-surface temperatures are the warmest, upper-level winds relax and drier air is typically not widespread.
Unlike recent active years, dry air has been more dominant than usual across the eastern parts of the Atlantic Basin, which has stunted the organization and development of tropical cyclones.
August ended without seeing a single tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Basin for only the second time in the satellite era.
During an average year, eight named storms and three hurricanes have typically already formed by now, but so far in 2022, the tally stands at only five named storms and two hurricanes.
The next system to organize into a tropical storm with winds of at least 40 mph will be called Fiona.
There are no immediate worries from any direct tropical threats to the U.S. coastline.
Computer forecast models show another significant lull in tropical activity for at least the next week.