A strong tropical wave located midday between Africa and the eastern Caribbean Sea continues to show increasing signs of organization. The red area below has an 80% chance of tropical formation in the next five days, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as of 8 a.m. this morning.
Storm Farthest East Represents Biggest Threat
Convection has increased near a developing low-level, low-pressure system designated 97L for the moment. 97L has a large moisture envelop and conditions generally favor development as it moves westward.
According to Jeff Lindner, Harris County meteorologist and the National Hurricane Center, a tropical depression will likely form in the next few days. It may also turn into a tropical storm as it approaches the Windward Islands. They expect continued W to WNW motion bringing the system into and through the eastern Caribbean Sea by the weekend.
Models Diverge on Direction After Storm Enters Caribbean
It’s too early to tell where it goes after that. Some models suggest the system will turn WNW and NW while others maintain a more westward track. “There is reasonable support for both,” says Lindner.
Lindner emphasizes that it is early for tropical cyclones to form in this region of the Atlantic. While 97L may become a tropical storm as it approaches the Windward Islands, once it gets past them, it may encounter slightly less favorable conditions over the eastern Caribbean Sea.
While there is no significant threat to SE TX at this time, you should monitor 97L daily.
Nearest Storm Poses Less Threat
The yellow area is a second, separate area being monitored by the NHC. It is moving quickly WNW at 20 to 25 mph and will enter the Caribbean later today. However, it is producing only disorganized showers and thunderstorms so far and diverging trade winds may tear it apart. The NHC only gives it a 10% chance of tropical formation. So while it will bring heavy rainfall to the Lesser Antilles, it poses little danger to Houston.
For the latest information, the NHC updates storm tracks every 12 hours during the hurricane season and even more frequently if storms approach the U.S. mainland.
Posted by Bob Rehak based on information from HCFCD and the National Hurricane Center
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