• Bryan Norcross

Caribbean disturbance showing signs of organization

Tropical Disturbance #1 is a broad area of low pressure with multiple embedded swirls that stretches across the Caribbean Sea from south of Jamaica to south of Puerto Rico. A cluster of thunderstorms south of Haiti and the Dominican Republic seems to be dominating the stretched-out disturbed weather, however. This is often an indication that a tropical system is in the organizational stage.


In addition, a band of strong winds has developed on the north side of the system, which can sometimes aid the development of an organized circulation.



The National Hurricane Center is giving the system a high chance of developing into at least a tropical depression as it tracks west in the general direction of Jamaica and Central America. There is no concern that it might turn north toward Florida or the Gulf.


Upper-level winds over the apparent center of the wide disturbance are reasonably conducive for it to develop. Just to the north, however, the upper winds are quite hostile. In addition, dry air off the continental U.S. has wrapped around the broad circulation to the south, so the overall atmospheric environment would not seem to be supportive of dramatic strengthening... if the system develops.


Although the apparent center of the disturbance is forecast to track well south of the northern Caribbean islands, a wide band of tropical moisture will continue to produce heavy rain over parts of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the large islands to the west. Flooding and mudslides will continue to be a threat in some areas.


On the current schedule, the disturbance, or whatever it becomes, would approach Central America around Thursday. People in Jamaica and Central America should stay well informed, and residents of the northern Caribbean islands need to stay aware of local weather conditions until the strong feed of moisture pulls away.



To the north, Disturbance #2 is a small circulation with an attached cluster of thunderstorms northeast of Bermuda. Upper-level winds are increasing, and a cold front is approaching, so it’s unlikely that the system will develop any further. It’s likely to dissipate soon.


Elsewhere, dry air dominates the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding waters.