May 24, 2016

Warm Atlantic May Start Tropical Cyclone Season Early

The Bahamas
by
Dan Satterfield
,
AGU Blogosphere
Image: NSFC, NASA
Image: NSFC, NASA

While there is uncertainty over the effects that climate change will have on the nature of tropical cyclones, there’s one aspect that seems clear. The warmest oceans ever measured may very well start the season earlier than the traditional first day of June. A disturbance in the Caribbean is being watched a bit more closely today, and there is some possibility that it might develop into a tropical cyclone...

Water temps. in the western portions of the Caribbean are just warm enough for tropical cyclone development (~27°C), but it would soon drift over cooler waters. The water temps. are running 1-2° C above average in the area, and the oceans worldwide are currently the warmest ever measured, so tropical cyclone season in the Atlantic Basin can start earlier than it has in the past