2015 Fall Outlook / Tropical Update

Posted: September 2, 2015, 9:57 am by bmarmo

Welcome to Meteorological Fall! While the calendar has changed to September, the first few days of the month have certainly felt a lot more like July. With temperatures soaring through the 80s and even into the 90s in some locations, summer has refused to let go across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. So the question is, how long will the warmth hold on?

With an upper level ridge of high pressure in control over the eastern half of the US, September is expected stay warmer than average. In addition to the warmth, high pressure will also keep things drier than normal. Many locations across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast are already experiencing minor to moderate drought conditions. Unfortunately, drought conditions will likely worsen with below normal precipitation expected for September and October. In fact, we might have to wait until November to get significant drought relief.

Typically, a decent portion of our rainfall during the fall comes from tropical storms or their remnants. While the first half of the season produced 6 storms in the Atlantic (two reaching hurricane status), what can we expect for the second half of the 2015 season? With a strong El Niño in control, below normal tropical activity is favored through the end of November. While a few more storms can still be expected, conditions overall have been hostile for tropical development, especially in the Caribbean. Increased amounts of wind shear across the Atlantic (a result of El Niño) make it less likely that the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will feel the effects from a tropical system over the next few months. However, it is always important to stay vigilant, as it only takes one storm to make a huge impact.

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