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By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:54 PM GMT on October 11, 2007
A surface circulation has developed near 30N, 53W, about 800 miles east-southeast of Bermuda. This system has been labeled Invest 96L by NHC this morning. Some impressive heavy thunderstorms have built on the northeast side of the low. Wind shear is a marginal 15-20 knots, and is expected to rise to 25-35 knots tonight, so 96L has only about 12 hours to become a tropical depression before wind shear tears it apart.
The "sleeping giant" Yucatan low
A large low pressure system that moved inland over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Monday continues to bring heavy rain to Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. This low was labeled "94L" by NHC, but is no longer being tracked. The low crossed the Yucatan Wednesday and reached the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, where it began pulling in Gulf moisture and firing up some heavy thunderstorms. However, the low turned south before it could fully emerge into the Gulf, inland just west of the Guatemala/Mexico border. If it emerges into the Pacific Ocean, it may intensify enough to trigger additional heavy rains over the Pacific shores of Guatemela and Mexico. The low won't have enough time over water to develop into a tropical depression, I expect. Steering currents are such that the low will perform a loop back into the Western Caribbean near Belize on Saturday. If the low still has some spin at that time, it could develop into a tropical depression and bring another round of heavy rain to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Figure 1. Today's lineup of tropical disturbances to watch.
Elsewhere in the tropics
A surface trough of low pressure is bringing disorganized heavy thunderstorm activity to Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahama Islands. Some of the computer models are forecasting that a low pressure system will develop in the Bahamas on Friday, then move rapidly northeastward to Bermuda. This is likely to be an extratropical storm, but could bring wind gusts of 40 mph and heavy rain to Bermuda on Saturday.
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