The tiny tropical depression -- the second of the 2014 hurricane season -- continues to speed westward toward the Caribbean, but with each passing day, it is losing the characteristics of a storm rather than gaining strength. Despite having some relatively good conditions, No. 2 is looking pretty raggedy, and rather inhospitable conditions await it as it continues west.
With higher wind shear and stable air forecast to remain over the eastern Caribbean, it is unlikely No. 2 will survive more than a couple more days before dissipating entirely.
This is the consensus of not only the National Hurricane Center but also nearly all the forecast models, so it appears highly likely. This while Category 1 Typhoon Matmo made landfall in Taiwan, even contributing to a plane crash in the region that killed 51 people.
Thanks to intensifying El Niño conditions over the Pacific Ocean, much of the Atlantic Basin's storm-building characteristics are being suppressed. El Niño is a weather phenomenon forming in the eastern Pacific that tends to have a dampening impact on hurricane production in the Atlantic thanks to increased wind shear and lower than normal ocean temperatures.
Still, El Niño years have produced devastating hurricanes, and heading into the busy season for tropical storms between August 1 and September 21, it is good to cast a wary eye on the tropics. Fortunately, No. 2 doesn't appear to be a threat.
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