The NHC now has 97L at 40% in the short-term and 60% in the longer-term as far as development chances go. As they mention in the latest outlook, as has been the case for several days now, the issue of heavy rain cannot be ignored. Even tropical waves/disturbances can dump excessive rain fall and as 97L approaches Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, the chance of seeing periods of torrential rain will go up. This can cause flash flooding and mudslides as the terrain of the Greater Antilles islands is mountainous and is just inviting disaster each time a heavy rain event comes around.
Once the sprawling area of low pressure gets past the large islands of the Caribbean, it should gradually develop somewhere in the Bahamas. Here too, heavy rain and squally weather is likely over the coming days. Fortunately, none of the traditionally accurate intensity models show much coming out of this system as far as strengthening goes. That being said, I would not be surprised to see 97L eventually become a tropical storm before it gets pulled out to the northeast and away from the Southeast U.S. coast and the Bahamas.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, a tropical wave continues to move across the Yucatan towards the southern Gulf of Mexico with no solid signs of development just yet. As we saw with the evolution of Fernand several days ago, it is possible that we could see development from this system as it moves across the southern Gulf. This area seems to favor quick development so we’ll see what happens. Anything that does manage to get going should be short-lived as was the case with Fernand.
Looking way out in to the eastern Atlantic, nothing appears imminent there for development anytime soon, so no worries out that way.
In the east Pacific, another area just off the coast of Mexico is likely to develop but is shown by the model guidance to track northwest and away from the coast. It is interesting to note that, despite having quite a few named storms and several hurricanes, the east Pacific has yet to produce a major hurricane of category three or higher this season. Perhaps this is part of the global downturn in tropical cyclone activity this year. There is still plenty of hurricane season to go for both the Pacific and the Atlantic and thus there is room for something to come along and spoil the nice run of luck we’ve enjoyed. For now, and likely the next several days at least, that will not be the case and that is great news.
I’ll post more here tomorrow.
M. Sudduth 8:10 am ET Sept 4