Hurricane Arthur may be typical of what we see this season with tropical systems. Given cooler than normal water in the Tropical Atlantic, dry air over the central Tropical Atlantic, high wind shear levels and a very slowly developing El Niño, many forecasters are saying that the greatest threat from tropical cyclones this year will be from what is colloquially called “home grown storms.”
Given the current and projected weather pattern, we are unlikely to see many “Cape Verde” hurricanes. That is hurricanes that develop in the Tropical Atlantic and roll west into the United States, often as monster storms (such as the 1900 Hurricane and Hurricane Ike). By contrast, the home-grown storms often develop near shore along the Atlantic, or in the Gulf of Mexico or northwest Caribbean Sea. This is not to say they are harmless. Hurricanes Carla and Alicia should rid us of that notion.