Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Caribbean Worry

Invest 99 was updated to Tropical Depression #5, Wednesday afternoon. It is located around 500 miles East of the Windward islands with 35 mph winds. Very little has changed since then.



What we are looking for on Thursday is to see if the depression can get its act together. The last 24 hours have not been kind to it as strong upper winds are keeping it in check. After a flare up of thunderstorm activity on Wednesday, most of that has fallen apart. This could just be a flux in organization.



The official forecast cone takes the low through the Windward Islands on Friday, possibly as Tropical Storm Ernesto by then. After that, the intensity forecast gets a little dicey.

  • The models suggest little strengthening due to moderate shear over the region. It should stay as a storm until next Monday when the models  project it to become a hurricane.
  • However, as it travels through the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, they could provide the fuel it needs to grow stronger. 
  • With all this uncertainty, a recon plane is scheduled for Thursday to check out the depression and get much needed first hand data.


This is the latest info from NHC:

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* BARBADOS...ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES...AND DOMINICA
* ST. LUCIA
* MARTINIQUE AND GUADELOUPE

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE LESSER ANTILLES SHOULD MONITOR THE
PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.

The impact on the Lesser Antilles will be in the form of squally weather with periods of rain and gusty winds.



What South Florida needs to watch out for is the long range models. While the consensus is for the system to stay in the Caribbean, a few models are now trending a possible turn north putting us closer to its path.  We should just keep an eye on it over the next few days as we get a better idea as to where it may end up.

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