While activity in the tropics is still slow, there has been other Hurricane news this week. First Tropical Storm Harvey has been named today and eventhough it doesn't threaten any US mainland, it is still the 8th named storm of the season. Harvey is a pretty ragged looking storm on satellite and is moving due North out to sea so he can go fishing. No threat, but puts the storm count up to 8 by August 3, 2005. That is still an amazing pace.
In other news, NOAA came out with their updated hurricane forecast for the 2005 season. NOAA is now forecasting 18-21 named storms with 5-7 major hurricanes. The predicted seasonal totals include the considerable activity that has already occured prior to this update (7 tropical storms and 2 major hurricanes). Therefore, the remainder of the season calls for an additional 11-14 tropical storms, with 7-9 becoming hurricanes, and 3-5 of these becoming major hurricanes. The record for the number of hurricanes in one season is 21, and that is from 1933 before they could actually verify tropical storm activity with satellites. If you would like to watch this NOAA update to the Hurricane forecast, you can watch Max Mayfield's presentation here. Dr. Williams Gray's updated forecast is due out this Friday, August 5th. I expect a similar upgrade to the forecast from him.
In other news, pick up the August edition of National Geographic Magazine. It has an outstanding story on Hurricanes with great photography. Also, tonight at 8pm EST on the National Geographic channel is a new story on Tornado Chasing. It should be great viewing.
The path from the coast of Africa to the Windward islands has a lot of upper level lows and wind shear activity in place, which is keeping the activity non-existent at this time. The shear condition is expected to weaken by this weekend and we could see some tropical waves start to form by late weekend or early next week. The warm water path for the coast of Africa to the US is primed to support a lot of tropical development once the high level winds die down. Peak season for hurricanes is from late August to early September, I expect it to be a very active season per the professional forecast. That's all for today.