TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Saharan dust plume that has been helping to keep the tropics quiet is dissipating – so what could that mean for the next few weeks of hurricane season?
We typically see Saharan dust – the plumes of dust that originate in the Sahara Desert and move across the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico – from May into early July. Satellites show the dust that we’ve seen the past few weeks is starting to mix out over the central Atlantic Ocean.
Satellites also show another dust plume moving off Africa’s coast, but it does not look nearly as dense as the previous two.
The dry dust and strong winds from the plumes usually helps limit or weaken any tropical activity. Once the dust subsides, we typically see an uptick in tropical activity. However, it’s still early in the hurricane season.
The National Hurricane Center said it does not anticipate any tropical cyclone formation in the next five days, and forecasters are not currently tracking any tropical waves with a potential to develop.
The biggest uptick in tropical activity typically occurs in August, but July storms are certainly possible as we saw with Hurricane Elsa last year in early July.
With one recorded storm so far in the 2022 Atlantic season, the next name on the list for the second storm will be Bonnie.
Tracking the Tropics streams at 2 p.m. ET every Wednesday during hurricane season. For the latest updates, check out our Tracking the Tropics website.