• Bryan Norcross

A tropical system might consolidate this week in the southwest Caribbean Sea

A broad area of low pressure and disturbed weather extends from the coast of Colombia across the southwestern Caribbean and Central America into the Pacific. It’s a common weather feature early in the hurricane season and can cause heavy rain to fall across that region.



On occasion, a tropical system consolidates out of that broad disturbance and lifts north. The same disturbance can also spawn tropical storms and hurricanes in the Pacific – like Hurricane Agatha earlier this year.


Some of the computer forecast models show a system of some sort developing near the coast of Nicaragua and tracking northwest along the Central American coast – more or less rotating around the broad low-pressure area. Other models show little-if-any development. The consensus is that the development would happen about Thursday, if it occurs.



To the north, a strong area of high pressure should block any Caribbean system from threatening the U.S. In addition, a sprawling area of Saharan dust covers much of the tropical Atlantic and extends across the northern Caribbean. The dust is a deterrent to any tropical development. If this system consolidates, it will be just south of the dusty air.


Saharan dust is a common feature across the tropics from June through about the middle of August. It’s one of the reasons that fewer tropical systems tend to form during this time.


For now, we’ll watch the extreme southwestern Caribbean for our friends in Central America.