Madden Julian Oscillation Shifts to Atlantic in Early June Increasing TC Risk

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Highlight: MJO shift from East Pacific to Atlantic tropics next 1-2 weeks. Caused “Agatha” and probably a Gulf system toward weekend.

Fig. 1: All models agree that MJO shifts through phase_7 (Dateline and eastward in equatorial Pacific) and phase_8 (equatorial Atlantic) during the next 14 days.  

Discussion: The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) has been transitional in recent weeks shifting eastward from the Indian Ocean to the East Pacific (Fig. 1). Presence in the East Pacific has triggered Hurricane Agatha (Fig. 2). The 2-week forecast indicates additional steady eastward progression into the Atlantic tropics toward the weekend and through next week which increases the risk of an early season tropical system in the North Atlantic most likely the Gulf of Mexico (Fig. 3).

Fig. 2: Presence of the MJO in the tropical East Pacific helped to generate Hurricane Agatha.   

Fig. 3: ECMWF generates a Southeast Gulf of Mexico tropical cyclone on Saturday likely striking Florida at night.