The National Hurricane Center has officially named Tropical Storm Dolly. The storm is located well south and east of New England and poses no threat to land. Dolly is the 4th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. Sustained winds of 45 miles per hour with a pressure of 1002 millibars were recorded as of the afternoon update.
The path from the National Hurricane Center takes Dolly across the northern Atlantic. Dolly is expected to weaken from a Tropical Storm to a Post Tropical system by Wednesday morning.
Edouard is the next name on the list now that Dolly has formed. Dolly is the second storm to form since the official start of hurricane season on June 1st.
An above average season is expected as NOAA predicts a total of 13 to 19 named storms. Of that, 6 to 10 storms are expected to reach hurricane status with 3 to 6 possibly being major hurricanes. The peak of hurricane season for New England isn’t until August & September.
So, why are we expecting an above average season? There are two main factors one of which includes above average sea surface temperatures as shown above. Waters across the central Atlantic are very warm which helps fuel the development of tropical systems. Another factor is low wind shear across the Atlantic. The stronger the wind shear, the harder it is for storms to strengthen and develop.
One short term limiting factor to tropical development is the flow of dust from the Saharan desert. Wind patterns have sent a large plume of dust over 5,000 miles to the Caribbean. In these plumes, vertical wind shear can be found which is NOT an ingredient for tropical systems to form. All in all, this would mean that tropical activity is put on hold for now.
Remember throughout the entire hurricane season, be sure to check out our tracking the tropics section found on our website. https://www.wpri.com/weather/hurricane-tracking/