Just some interesting thoughts here that I started as a comment on another blog....
You know, I read a comment in the past month saying that it seems as if when the conditions in the Carribean/Gulf/West Atlantic are very favorable with no troughs to steer the storms away and the shear is low (etc.) that there seems to be no viable african waves that will hold together, or they will get torn apart in the Atlantic or steered away from those regions. And then it seems like when the African waves are robust,(Vise Versa happens) that the conditions in Caribbean/Gulf/West Atlantic are not as favorable and the storms struggle there.
After researching about Hurricane Andrew, I think that Andrew defied this pattern in that the pattern was extremely unfavorable in the open Atlantic for that African wave and that pattern ALMOST steered Andrew out to sea. But since it survived through all that, it defied this pattern and entered those EXTREMELY favorable conditions in the West Atlantic/Bahamas/Gulf contrary to what the pattern generally allowed, and it became a monster.
So in a sense, since just that one little storm slipped through that barrier into the favorable West Atlantic area, it greatly took advantage of it. I can't tell you how many times we've looked at the Gulf or somewhere and said "if there was a storm here it would explode." But there was no storm there to take advantage of that because the pattern wasn't set up for a storm to easily enter that area.
So with Andrew, if you look at the satellite pictures of the vicinity around Florida and to the East, there were hardly any clouds except pop up storms. There was basically no huge trough system to raise shear or taint the atmosphere Andrew was in. The only thing that was a major factor while Andrew was approaching Florida was that high pressure north of it, which basically did nothing but allow a conducive environment for Andrew to explode.
I think the situation where we need to watch out for the next BIG one is when that tropical system "slips through this barrier" again and enters an area that is not dominated by huge troughs (large scale systems) that create wind shear and steers it out to sea. In otherwords, it's that atmosphere that is just sitting there stagnant, soupy, muggy, with nothing much but pop up storms going on: that's the atmosphere that we will need to be wary of when a storm slips through that barrier.
What do you think?