The tropics are about to get active and this time, it could stick.
The NHC is monitoring a tropical wave, now designated as invest area 93L, far out in the deep tropics. While this region has been quite hostile up until now, it appears that the tables are about to turn and we will likely get the next named storm, Bertha, within a few days.
Global computer models are coming in to agreement that the tropical wave will develop steadily in the coming days as it moves generally west to west-northwest.
Water temps are okay for development but are certainly not running above normal in the region. This might keep the system from developing faster, we’ll see. The presence of dry air all across the deep tropics may also inhibit development even though there are indications that this pattern is about to let up some.
The track appears to be generally westward with a gradual bend to the west-northwest with time. Keeping this in mind, interests in the Lesser Antilles should be monitoring this feature closely. The NHC’s five day outlook graphic suggests a path towards the islands. After that point, it is just too soon to even begin speculating on where this might end up. We know the drill by now: it could turn north and eventually away from the United States or it could continue west enough to eventually affect land somewhere after a potential encounter with the Caribbean islands.
One thing that interests me quite a bit is the fact that, if this system develops, it would be several weeks ahead of the usual time frame that we look this far east. It would also signify a change in the overall hostile pattern for the deep tropics. In short, this could indicate that we are in for a different hurricane season than originally forecast. The El Nino failed to develop thus far and now that we are seeing development in the deep tropics, it may be that the forecast of a below average season is in jeopardy. I do not want to put too much in to this but considering just how hostile the region between Africa and the Caribbean has been for the past year at least, I do wonder if we are seeing a change that could lead to more long-track systems that do not fall apart.
The rest of the Atlantic Basin is quiet as we start the week. I see nothing to worry about anywhere outside of 93L.
In the east Pacific, things remain quite busy with weakening TS Hernan moving away from the Mexican coastline. Other areas to monitor dot the Pacific but none pose any significant threat to land right now.
I will post another update on 93L later this evening after more information comes out from the global models and the NHC.
M. Sudduth 9:27 AM ET July 28