Tropical Depression Sixteen has formed; 98L likely to develop
Tropical Depression Sixteen formed from 97L this morning, though continues to be no threat and is expected to dissipate by Friday night. The depression is located east of the Bahamas and north of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and has had organized thunderstorm activity over the past couple of days, though an approaching cold front is beginning to take its toll on the system, which is apparent on satellite loops. Wind shear is around 20 knots from the southwest and increasing, which is exposing the cyclone's center of circulation and will result in the cyclone's demise. The system's thunderstorm activity could reach the far eastern Bahamas on Friday, but it's likely that Sixteen will not impact the islands before dissipating.
Figure 1. Visible satellite imagery of Tropical Depression Sixteen captured at 1:17pm EDT.
98L still likely to develop
Strong thunderstorm activity continues in 98L today, despite strong wind shear to its north, around 30 knots. This wind shear is expected to decrease over the next few days, providing a window for the wave to develop over the weekend. Most of the models are expecting 98L to to strengthen to a tropical storm by Sunday. The GFS and the GFDL even go as far to say that 98L could reach Category 1 hurricane strength. In terms of track, all of the models are forecasting a recurving pattern. The ECMWF pushes the potential cyclone farthest west, possibly reaching Hispaniola. The HWRF carries the system northwest over the next three days, and across Puerto Rico. The GFS has a similar solution this morning, as well. The model with the eastern-most forecast is the GFDL, which expects 98L to track north-northwest, scraping the eastern side of the Lesser Antilles, and avoiding land thereafter.
The National Hurricane Center gives 98L a 50% chance of development over the next 48 hours.