New Tropical Disturbance Swirls in the Atlantic
• 70 percent chance of tropical depression formation in the next 48 hours
• Located about 1450 miles east of the southern Windward Islands
• Model plots have it taking a northwesterly turn
Thus far, in 2014, it’s been relatively quite in the tropical Atlantic basin. But, that could soon change as a new disturbance swirls eastward toward the Windward Islands.
The low is currently located about 1450 miles from the Windward Islands. That’s roughly halfway between the western coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles.
Recent satellite loops show a well-defined center of circulation and more robust convection over the last 12 hours. That’s an indication the disturbance is becoming a bit more organized. That said, the convection is still asymmetrical — meaning it’s not consistently around the center of circulation and it’s an indication that the storm still has a bit more to go before it’s classified as a tropical depression.
Once it reaches the tropical depression threshold, it will be the third depression of this season.
Next 24 Hours
Environmental conditions are very favorable for development through the next day or so. A look at the current wind shear index shows very little shear around the storm at present (red shading) and conditions will remain mostly favorable in the coming days as well. And given the warm sea surface temperatures, additional development is very likely. The storm is currently moving west-northwest at 15-mph.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla. expects this disturbance to become a full-fledged tropical depression later Tuesday or early Wednesday. And this is something the meteorologists at WeatherNation are monitoring frequently.
Long range models are continuing to show the disturbance taking a more northwesterly track as the week progresses, potentially impacting the northern parts of the Lesser Antilles by midday Saturday. At present the models are also indicating that the system could reach tropical storm force as it impacts some of the Windward Islands, but much remains to be seen. Over the coming days, the forecast for the track and intensity will be honed further.
Check back with weathernation.com frequently for the latest on the tropics.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond