Invest 94L could grow into a tropical depression by next week

Not every year in June do we look down on the main developing region of the eastern Atlantic — the deep tropical belt where most of our strongest hurricanes form — for tropical formation.

In fact, since the advent of satellite coverage in 1966, of the nearly 300 storms that have formed in the traditional main developing region, only two have formed in June — an unnamed storm in 1974 and Ana in 1979.

Even accounting for storms that technically formed just outside this belt, like Elsa last year, which converged at just 9.4 degrees north latitude, storms that form here this early in the season are in the lowest percentile of storms , originating in this Far East.


So it’s unusual, to say the least, for the National Hurricane Center to highlight a disruption — already dubbed Invest 94L — in the Far East Atlantic for tropical development before it even hits July, since it’s Friday morning.


As we’ve discussed since the beginning of the week, there are a variety of factors converging to make the normally hostile environment out here more conducive to tropical activity in the coming days.

The most important of these changes is a reduction in disruptive wind shear, which is normally the most impediment to tropical development in the main developing region in late June and early July.

The weakening of this wind shear has only just begun and is expected to follow the disturbance as it hugs safely south of stronger upper level winds on its journey towards the Caribbean Sea.

(University of Wisconsin)

We also discussed last week the possibility of the tropical Atlantic heating up due to weaker-than-average easterly trade winds, resulting in less ocean mixing and cooling.

Indeed, warming in the Atlantic continues to increase and as of this week the main developing region is the seventh warmest in 40 years on record – behind some very active hurricane seasons such as 2005, 2010, 2020 and 2011.


The combination of the region’s thermodynamic profile (water temperatures) and enabling dynamics (lower wind shear) are two major supportive factors for future development.

You can see this in our statistically based intensity models, which take these environmental factors as input and are quite aggressive in predicting a boost for the next week.


Copyright 2022 by WPLG – All rights reserved. Invest 94L could grow into a tropical depression by next week

Sarah Y. Kim

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