By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 17,2017, 9:10:14AM,EDT
In addition to the area surrounding Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, tropical development is possible near the equator over the central Atlantic in the coming days.The area of concern in the Atlantic basin is a tropical system that has been tracking westward from the coast of Africa the past several days.
"If this system can remain south of a zone of strong westerly winds aloft and the zone of dry air near the sea surface, then it has an opportunity to develop over the next few days," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Tropical development in this part of the Atlantic during June is rare.
Should the system strengthen into a tropical storm prior to June 22, it would be the earliest named storm to form in this part of the Atlantic since official records were kept in 1851.
"On record, there have only been three tropical systems to form this far south in the central Atlantic during June," Kottlowski said.
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These systems were the Trinidad hurricane in 1933, Tropical Storm Ana in 1979 and Tropical Depression Two in 2000.
Should the system begin to develop and drift on a more northwesterly course, it may encounter too much dry air and disruptive winds. In such a case, it will likely weaken.
If the central Atlantic system maintains its more southern track, it is projected to pass over or very close to Trinidad and Tobago on Monday night, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.
"It would then track near or just north of northern Venezuela on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week," he said.
Heavy rain squalls, along with the risk for flash flooding and locally damaging winds would increase as the system strengthens. Building seas would follow suit.
The heavy rain may also graze the southern Windward Islands as the system tracks into the eastern Caribbean Sea.
"Beyond Tuesday or Wednesday, a combination of land interaction and stronger winds aloft will probably cause the system to fall apart," Pydynowski said.
The next names on the list of tropical storms for the 2017 are Bret and Cindy.
Tropical Storm Arlene formed and dissipated in the middle of the Atlantic during April. Arlene never directly affected any land areas.