An area of disturbed weather deemed Invest 96L by NHC, is dumping plenty of rain across the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and parts of Dominican Republic. They need the rain because of an on-going drought, but its never good when it comes down this hard and this fast. It will surely lead to flooding, land and mudslides.
The broad area of low pressure remains disorganized as of this writing and it will probably remain this way as long as its traveling over land. There are times when you will see a big burst of heavy rainfall and then it simmers down. It will be a soggy 24 hours for our friends in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.
Its biggest road block for development will be "El Pico Duarte", the highest mountain chain in all of the Caribbean standing at over 10 thousand feet.
This can act as a wall stopping the system or even diverting it in another direction.
NHC says if it can survive the impact with "El Pico Duarte", there is a chance for further growth as it enters the Southeastern Bahamas on Saturday.
They expect favorable conditions in the atmosphere and warmer waters. NHC is giving it an 80% chance it could become a depression or a storm over the next 5 days.
Puerto Rico and parts of Dominican Republic are under a Flash Flood Watch until Saturday due to the copious amount of rainfall expected.
Four to six inches of rain are expected over mountainous regions.
This will be a dangerous situation for those in the path of swollen rivers or landslide areas. They can quickly be overrun by fast rising waters.
Puerto Rico needs the rain, just not all at once, they are running a deficit of almost 5 inches since the start of the year.
A recon plane is scheduled to check out the disturbance this afternoon to determine its health.
On Thursday, the mission could not find a defined center of circulation and that is of utmost importance. Without a good fix on the center, models don't know where to start, and thus won't know where to end. So until that point is found, take all model runs with a grain of salt.
Maybe today's scheduled flight can find the elusive center and allow the models to provide better forecast paths. This is what the models are suggesting using what little info they have received.
So with the lack of real good model data, all we can do for the moment is wait and see what develops. After it leaves Hispaniola, it will aim for the Southeastern Bahamas with some rain and gusty winds. Early next week it may have enough fuel for further intensification and maybe even become a hurricane, but if these early model runs are to be believed, it should remain offshore through its life cycle.
Local NWS Statement:
THERE IS IS STILL CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY WITH THE AREA OF
DISTURBED WEATHER IN THE ATLANTIC. HOWEVER, THE GFS AND ECMWF ARE
NOW IN LINE AND BOTH MODELS MOVE IT NORTHWARD EAST OF FLORIDA FOLLOWING THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE ATLANTIC TROUGH BEFORE THE SE US RIDGE MOVES TO THE WESTERN ATLANTIC.
Translation: They believe it will stay away from us due to some strong upper level winds pushing it away.