After Tropical Storm Alberto showed up in mid-May — two weeks early for hurricane season — it appeared that the summer of 2012 might be a busy one for tropical activity.
But only three other storms have been named (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph winds) since then, and only one (Chris) briefly reached hurricane status (sustained winds of at least 74 mph). Alberto was one of only three tropical storms in the past 31 years to form as early as May.
The National Hurricane Center is reporting no tropical storm activity in the Atlantic Ocean basin on Monday, and it sees no factors that will lead to further development this week.
Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist with Accuweather, is predicting a "normal" year for hurricane activity with about five hurricanes and 12 tropical storms by Nov. 30.
In a July 13 forecast, Sosnowski took note of two competing factors:
- A potential strengthening of an El Niño pattern (cooling of Pacific Ocean waters) that could create wind shear conditions unfavorable to tropical storm development in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Warmer than average ocean temperatures near the United States, which would be favorable to tropical storm development.
Closer to home, the National Weather Service forecast calls for three days with high temperatures in the 90s on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The three-day forecast calls for sunny weather with light southwest winds. There's a chance of thunderstorms late on Wednesday as cooler air moves in. The ocean water temperatures remained unseasonably warm at 78 degrees on Sunday.
Low tide is at noon on Monday and still early-afternoon Tuesday and Wednesday.
The surf was relatively small and choppy on Sunday, but on Monday morning clean three-footers were coming in sets, and most breaks were crowded with surfers.