TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season has been quiet for the past two and half weeks with no development to speak of. This quiet stretch is not uncommon this time of year with July still being early in the season.
Dry Saharan dust has helped keep tropical activity at bay with large plume after large plume coming off the coast of Africa and covering most of the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico water basins.
Several large scale global weather patterns have been unfavorable for tropical activity in the Atlantic as well. The global Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) has been in a quiet phase over the Atlantic but that is expected to change in early August.
La Niña continues as well and is expected to continue through the rest of the year. When La Niña is in place as opposed to El Niño, hurricane season is typically more active.
Compared to previous seasons, this July is a little quieter with only three named storms so far for the year. By July 21, 2021, there were five named storms in the books – and by the third week in July in 2020 there were already seven named storms in the Atlantic basin. So far this year, we’ve only had three named storms.
On average, hurricane season picks up in August with tropical waves coming off the coast of Africa. Saharan dust usually begins to taper off as well, allowing more favorable conditions in the tropics for those tropical waves to develop.
Keep in mind, most forecasts for this year’s season are still calling for an active one. NOAA is predicting 14 to 21 named storms and Colorado State is calling for 20 named storms total this year. This does include the three named storms that have already formed.
Remember, it only takes one storm to hit your area to make it a bad season.
The tropics are forecast to be quiet for the next five days or so with no tropical development expected.