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Western Caribbean disturbance bringing heavy rains

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:02 PM GMT on October 15, 2011

In the Western Caribbean, a large area of disturbed weather associated with a low pressure system is bringing heavy rains to Western and Central Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Moisture from Tropical Depression 12-E, which moved inland near the Mexico/Guatemala border and dissipated on Wednesday, has invigorated this low. Rainfall amounts of 5 - 10 inches have fallen over Central Cuba since October 9, according to radar estimates from the Key West Radar.

Figure 1. Morning radar image from Key West, FL radar.

The low is too large to develop quickly, and is likely to move over the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday, limiting the potential for development. NHC is giving the system just a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday. Most of the models predict only weak development of the storm, since wind shear is currently a moderate to high 15 - 25 knots, and is expected to be in the moderate to high range over the next three days. The low is likely to move north and then northeast early next week, and cross the west coast of Florida on Tuesday or Wednesday. Rains from the storm are already affecting the Florida Keys, as seen on long-range Key West radar. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba will see the heaviest rains from the disturbance over the weekend, and extreme South Florida and the Florida Keys could see heavy rains of 3 - 5 inches through Monday.

Another area of disturbed weather over the far Eastern Atlantic, 700 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, has developed a modest degree of spin, but has very limited heavy thunderstorm activity. NHC is giving this system a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday.

Jeff Masters


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