Tropical Storm Likely To Form Soon
Tropical Storm Likely To Form Soon
Air Force Plane Investigating
We continue to see the tropical disturbance 300 miles east of Barbados becoming better organizied. An Air Force plane is there right now investigating to see if a closed circulation has developed. Tropical Storm force winds have already been observed from buoy reports in the area. If a closed circulation has formed the system will be upgraded to a tropical depression or a tropical storm later this afternoon or tonight.
The system continues to remain in a low shear high moisture environment. It has been able to stay outside the dry air that is to the north that is not getting entrained in the circulation. Weather models this afternoon continue to track this system westward for the next several days until it is northwest of Aruba and Curacao some time on Friday. The keys to the forecast remain the cutoff low in the Eastern US and how far south the weakness in the ridge along the east coast extends into the Caribbean.
The difference in the two global models this afternoon lies in both the Atlantic ridge and the cutoff low in the Great Lakes. The Atlantic Ridge on the European is stronger and the southern extent of the trough is weaker than on the GFS. This shifts the weakness on the European further west. If the European is correct the threat would increase for Jamaica and on the GFS the threat would be for Eastern Haiti and the western portion of Cuba.
The other important factor regarding the longer term prospects of this system lies in the strong trough that is coming into the west. The European has a deeper trough moving into the Plains while the GFS is flatter and weaker.
The ridge in the east is also key as there are westerly winds north of 30 degrees north along the east coast. How the tropical storm reacts to all these features will ultimately determine the threat (if any) to the United States.
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