The Hurricane Hunters have been investigating 98L this afternoon and the NHC subsequently issued a lengthy bulletin a little while ago. The info from the NHC tells us that there is not quite a well defined low level center associated with 98L just yet. However, it may be only a matter of hours now until that happens and the system is upgraded directly to tropical storm status (Rafael).
Regardless of the naming, the bottom line is that the region around the Lesser Antilles is experiencing squalls with some winds gusting over tropical storm force. These conditions will persist over the next day or so as the low pressure area moves northwestward.
There really isn’t much change in the overall track or intensity model guidance this evening. I think once we get a true center to form and the computer models can take this information and run with it, that we’ll get a clearer picture of the impacts for the Leeward Islands and possibly Bermuda.
I’ll post another update here around 11pm ET tonight with the latest on 98L.