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Western Caribbean disturbance flares up

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:37 PM GMT on October 03, 2008

Heavy thunderstorm activity has increased substantially this morning in association with a broad area of low pressure over the Western Caribbean. Visible satellite loops show a modest but expanding area of heavy thunderstorms, with no sign of organization or a surface circulation. Wind shear is moderate, in the 10-20 knot range. The disturbance is moving very little at present.

Figure 1. Current satellite image of the Western Caribbean. Image credit: NOAA.

Steering currents are weak in the Western Caribbean, and there should be little motion of the system over the next three days. Heavy rain from the disturbance has already moved into the Cayman Islands, and will begin to affect northern Honduras, western Cuba, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula over the next two days. None of the computer models develop this disturbance. However, with wind shear expected to stay in the moderate 10-15 knot range through Sunday, and the upper level winds expected to take on an anticyclonic flow, I give this disturbance a medium (20-50% chance) of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. NHC is currently giving it a low (<20% chance) of developing.

Links to follow
Wundermap for the Western Caribbean
Grand Cayman weather

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.