Quiet Week Ahead Predicted for Tropical Development in AtlanticBrian K. Sullivan
Dry air and wind shear are expected to damp tropical storm development in the Atlantic this week, forecasters said.
None of the tropical waves moving west across the ocean will find conditions conducive to growth, said Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
“Overall, this week is looking quiet as far as any U.S. impacts, for sure,” Tapley said.
Atlantic storms are followed closely by energy companies and commodities traders because they can disrupt natural gas and oil production and processing and destroy crops.
The Gulf of Mexico is home to about 6 percent of U.S. natural gas output, 23 percent of oil production and more than 45 percent of petroleum refining capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Department. The Bay of Campeche, at the southern end of the Gulf, is where Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, has most of its output. Florida is the second-largest producer of oranges after Brazil.
Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, and Phil Klotzbach, lead author of Colorado State University’s seasonal hurricane forecast, also characterized the coming week as “quiet.”
Tapley said the tropical waves, which can be seeds for larger systems, were all moving through areas of high shear and dry air.
Shear, or winds blowing at different directions or different speeds at varying altitudes, can cripple tropical systems by tearing at their structure. Dry air can rob a potential storm of much-needed moisture.