TD 5 almost fizzled out last night as environmental conditions are only marginal enough to keep it on life support. A combination of rather dry mid level air and some shearing wind from an upper level low (a large one at that) to the north took a toll on the fledgling cyclone.
This morning, however, the deep convection is making a comeback and a large curved band is seen on the southeast side of the depression. This will give it at least a chance to become a tropical storm before it moves through the Lesser Antilles and in to the Caribbean Sea.
Interestingly enough, the fairly reliable SHIPS model for intensity shows only slight strengthening in the short term followed by a modest increase to 75 knots by day five. This would make the system a hurricane over the very warm waters of the central Caribbean Sea. For now, it remains weak and disorganized but could become a tropical storm and bring squally weather to portions of the Lesser Antilles. I see no evidence that this will become a hurricane before passing through the islands.
In the longer term track-wise, there is not much change to the five day forecast from the NHC. A strong area of high pressure to the north (Bermuda High) will push the system generally westward with a gradual bend to the WNW with time. Obviously, people want to know if it will affect the U.S. coast. My answer is: too early to know. First we have to deal with the effects to Jamaica, the Caymans and possibly the Yucatan, all of which are potentially in the path of the soon-to-be storm. Any impact to the U.S. will be more than a week away.
In other news, we released our iPhone App yesterday and hope that you will pick it up in the App Store. For more information and to purchase your copy of HurricaneTrack, click the link in the main menu above.
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The rest of the tropics are quiet and look to remain that way for the next several days. I’ll have another update here this evening with periodic posts to Twitter throughout the day.