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Planet Ark World Environment News Forecasters See Stir in Atlantic Tropical Waves

Date: 15-Jul-09
Country: US
Author: Eileen Moustakis

NEW YORK - While most of the Atlantic basin remained quiet on Tuesday, some forecasters said a large tropical wave in the central tropical Atlantic appeared to be slowly organizing into what could become the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season's next tropical depression or first storm.

"Several forecast models do now suggest that some development will take place with the wave over the next few days. The bottom line is that while conditions are not ideal, this is the first wave in a couple weeks that has had any chance of developing," Stephen Strum, Frontier Weather Inc's president and lead meteorologist, said in a morning report.

Strum added that a long-term track was pure speculation at this point.

"Once you get to the middle of July, you start to see the wave activity become a little more active, and the waves that come off Africa have a better chance to develop because the water is now warm enough between the Atlantic and the Caribbean to support the waves. Prior to mid-July the water is just too cool there, so they all just sputter and die," Strum told Reuters.

"These waves start to come off about every three days now. We'll start to see more activity going forward from this point on, which is normal, just from a climatologically typical pattern," Strum said.

Forecaster AccuWeather.com said there were currently no tropical systems across the Atlantic basin and no development expected at least through Wednesday.

The forecaster said, however, it was also tracking three tropical waves.

A tropical wave moving over the Lesser Antilles Tuesday was moving into warmer water, but strong wind shear over the Caribbean would likely prevent the wave from becoming better organized beyond Wednesday, it said.

A wave located over Guatemala and southeastern Mexico was likely to move into the eastern Pacific over the next day or two, AccuWeather.com said.

Natural gas traders linked part of a rise in prices early Tuesday to the stir in tropical activity. Natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 5 percent early Tuesday to as high as $3.44 per million British thermal units.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

There has been one tropical depression so far this season.

The first named storm of the season will be Ana.

Tropical storms pack maximum sustained winds ranging from 39 to 73 miles per hour.

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