No more Saharan dust and La-Nina. Here’s what it might mean

ORLANDO, Florida – The Atlantic basin continues to be in a phase of large-scale suppression, which will continue to favor a calm section. In addition to these large-scale features, another large plume of Saharan dust crosses the Atlantic.

The presence of dust also helps to limit tropical development while it is around.

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Saharan dust

Dust has taken over the Central Florida skies at times this week, helping to improve sunrises and sunsets when the clouds are not there. More dust could appear next week.

La-Nina is coming back?

Now on to the bad news. You may remember last season a La-Nina watch was issued for the peak of the hurricane. In a nutshell, when La-Nina is present, tropical development is generally enhanced. Earlier this year, La-Nina calmed down and the atmosphere was in the state between La-Nina and El-Nino.

Last week, the Climate Prediction Center released a La Nina watch, which means La Nina is possible within the next six months. There is currently a 45% chance that La-Nina will be around for the months of August, September, and October. If La-Nina does develop, the Atlantic could be in another busy second half of the season.

What is La-Nina?

La Nina is a seasonal ocean / atmospheric pattern that develops in the tropical Pacific. La-Nina is the cold phase of the El-Nino Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. During the hurricane season, the phase in which ENSO is located can strongly impact tropical development far in the Atlantic basin.

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When El-Nino, the warm phase, is present, tropical development is suppressed with increased wind shear and poor weather conditions in the Atlantic basin.

When La-Nina is present, the waters along the equatorial Pacific, off the coast of Peru, are cooler than normal. This happens because the trade winds are strengthening in this region, pushing warm water towards Australia, allowing cooler water deeper in the ocean to rise to the surface. This is called upwelling.

La-Nina is defined when the waters of the equatorial Pacific off the coast of Peru become 0.5 degrees (or more) Celsius cooler than normal.

When this happens, the wind shear, which hurricanes dislike, tends to be weaker, creating a much more favorable environment for storms to develop.

La-Nina favors a more active than normal hurricane season

This helps to improve tropical development. The rising air necessary for the development of thunderstorms is also favored in this situation.

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