With less than two weeks remaining in July, the 2014 hurricane season, we have our second storm of the year in the Atlantic. The peak of the season is in the second week of September, but the end of July is generally when things begin to heat up over the Atlantic Basin.
This second depression of the year -- Hurricane Arthur battered the east coast of the U.S. over the July 4 weekend -- is small, fairly weak and sitting over relatively cool waters. In fact, the most reliable forecast models are not calling for the depression to intensify and the National Hurricane Center is actually predicting it will dissipate not long after it reaches the Caribbean in a couple days.
Given the predictions earlier in the year of a strong El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean, which normally stifles the formation of hurricanes throughout the Atlantic Basin, the year so far is shaping up as expected, but there is still nearly 10 weeks remaining in the heart of hurricane season.
This latest depression has a small chance to gain some strength as it speeds towards the eastern Caribbean, but dry, stable air along with the land masses along its projected path leaves the future of this depression decidedly in doubt.
If it were to reach tropical storm status, it would be named Bertha, which is probably reason enough for anything to not want to get to that point. Bertha? Seriously.
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Still, if Bertha did form and decide to strengthen in the Caribbean, it is unlikely to impact us along the Texas coast. That doesn't mean we shouldn't all be paying attention. This is the time of year when depressions like this one start to show up and even if this one doesn't make Bertha status, it is likely one will and soon.