Tropical Disturbance (#97L) to bring dangerous heavy rain to Central America
The Tropical Disturbance called Invest #97L that we’ve been following across the Caribbean is a broad area of low pressure that is now approaching Central America. The system is mostly a mass of tropical moisture with embedded thunderstorms and some gusty winds. Heavy rain is already moving over parts of Nicaragua and Honduras and will spread across Central America from Costa Rica to Belize over the next few days.
The National Hurricane Center is now considering the system as unlikely to develop any further. The threat will be heavy rain over the mountainous areas that can trigger flash flooding and mudslides.
The system moved over extremely warm Caribbean water. The water temperature in the western Caribbean is nearly as high as has ever been measured. But there wasn’t enough time for the large system to wrap up and form an organized center, even under an apparently conducive upper-air pattern.
The large mass of tropical moisture is forecast to cross Central America and move into the Pacific by early next week.
There are no signs of any tropical development in the next week or more. It’s possible the hurricane season is over since dry air and hostile upper winds are forecast over most areas from the Gulf to Africa. As long as the ocean is warm, however, something could still spin up, especially over the open ocean. So it’s not time to declare it over yet.