Update 2 p.m.: The National Hurricane Center has stuck with its forecast this afternoon, giving two disturbances in the tropical Atlantic basin low to medium chances of development.
But the tropical wave closest to the U.S. is expected to at least bring gusty winds and heavy rains into the Caribbean early next week, and could strengthen once it reaches the western Caribbean.
According to the 2 p.m. update from the center, Invest 96 L, which is closer to Africa, has a 50 percent chance of development in the short term.
Invest 97 L, which is 1,100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, is moving west toward Puerto Rico with a 30 percent chance of development over five days.
Invest 97 L is speeding along at up to 25 mph – a swift pace that will likely limit its development. Forecasters note this afternoon that showers are poorly organized.
“Regardless of development, this system will likely bring showers and gusty winds to portions of the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the eastern Caribbean Sea during the weekend,” meteorologist Jack Beven wrote. “By the middle of next week, the wave is expected to be in the western Caribbean Sea, where conditions could be more conducive for development.”
Previous story: The National Hurricane Center has increased the chances of development for a tropical wave near the Cabo Verde Islands to 50 percent over the next five days, while a disturbance closer to the U.S. was given just a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone.
The storm with a better chance of strengthening is dubbed 96 L. It is associated with a low pressure system centered a couple hundred miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands, formerly known as the Cape Verde Islands.
Forecasters said the cluster of thunderstorms has become better organized since yesterday and could build further in the near term before it enters less a less favorable environment next week.
“This is not a tropical cyclone yet and not expected to be one at this point,” said National Hurricane Center forecaster Eric Blake. “We have had a lot of fortunate climate conditions that have kept storms away as well as some luck and you can’t expect that to hold out forever.”
The second storm, which popped up Thursday, was given a 30 percent chance of strengthening over the next five days.
While this storm, called 97 L, is given a low chance of forming, it still could bring gust winds and rains into the Leeward Islands and eastern Caribbean next week.
Michael Lowry, a hurricane specialist with the Weather Channel, said because 97 L is moving so fast – 25 mph – that it’s unlikely to build much.
“When they move that quickly, the circulation has trouble spinning up,” he said. “The low level flow is so fast, it effectively creates a sheared environment for itself.”
August is when the wind shear across the Atlantic starts to lessen, giving storms a chance to develop into stronger systems.
While the Atlantic has been quiet all month, the Pacific has exploded with seven named storms. Meteorologists said that is a typical pattern – busy Pacific, slow Atlantic – because rising air in the Pacific means gently sinking air in the Atlantic that doesn’t make for disturbances.
The tropical wave dubbed invest 97L could bring rain to a parched South Florida, which currently has a deficit of 4.53 inches in coastal Palm Beach County for the season, which began June 1.
Dan Kottlowski, a hurricane specialist with AccuWeather, said much of South Florida’s rain in July comes from tropical waves, which haven’t been able to make it past the Bermuda high.
“What’s interesting about Florida is we have not had a really strong tropical wave bring us any surges of moisture and that’s usually what puts us over the top as far as rainfall,” Kottlowski said. “That dry air has really been the dominant feature.”