It has been quiet in the Atlantic basin for a while thanks to the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) and strong wind shear. With both of those factors partially abating we now have a couple of systems to watch. The first system with the highest probability of development is just off the coast of Africa. Development into a tropical storm is anticipated tonight or tomorrow. Once designated the storm will be named Florence. Heavy rains and gusty winds will impact the Cabo Verde islands tomorrow. After that, it looks like Florence will become a ‘fish system’ with impacts only to the fish and shipping routes.
Our focus on this informational blog will be on a disorganized cluster of thunderstorms near Puerto Rico. Some have picked up on a few weather models indicating development with this system next week. At this time any probability of developing into a tropical cyclone is low. However, conditions may become more favorable for development when the system enters the Gulf of Mexico early next week. Even if there was development it looks like it would end up occurring in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Here’s a snippet from the National Hurricane Center:
A tropical wave located over the north-central Caribbean Sea is producing a large area of cloudiness and thunderstorms extending from Hispaniola northeastward across the northeastern Caribbean Sea and adjacent Atlantic waters. This activity is forecast to spread westward to west-northwestward, but strong upper-level winds are expected to prevent any significant development of this system during the next several days. Environmental conditions could become more conducive when the system reaches the eastern Gulf of Mexico early next week. Regardless of development, this system could produce enhanced rainfall across portions of Hispaniola, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos, and Florida into early next week.
Regardless of the tropical mischief, a pattern change is anticipated next week. Our heat dome of doom will weaken and allow a weak flow aloft to develop. Combined with the tropical moisture we should see an uptick in rain chances and a drop off in temperatures. We’re not talking about a drastic cooldown, but increased cloud cover should help drop temperatures off a few degrees. We’ll refine specific rain chances once we get closer and have a better idea of the specifics.