Monday, June 12, 2017

Western Caribbean Bears Watching for Tropical Development This Weekend

Chris Dolce
Published: June 12,2017

The western Caribbean could be an area to watch for the potential development of a tropical depression or tropical storm by this weekend.
Current satellite imagery shows no vigorous shower and thunderstorm activity in the western Caribbean, but that may change in the days ahead.
(MORE: Hurricane Central)

Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Infrared Satellite
The output from various computer forecast models has been indicating an overall increase in stormy weather in the western Caribbean later this week into the weekend. Those models have also depicted that an area of low pressure may eventually form near or on either side of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula (southwest Gulf or northwest Caribbean).
A well-defined low-pressure system is needed for a tropical depression or tropical storm to organize.
The potential development may be tied to a tropical wave that is expected to move near Central America this week before turning north toward the northwest Caribbean, according to the National Weather Service in Houston. Tropical waves can sometimes help spark the formation of a tropical depression or tropical storm.
Interaction with land areas of Central America and the Yucatan, however, could hinder the possible development of this system. Tropical systems need to be located over warm waters to grow.
Forecast guidance indicates that an area of low pressure may form near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula this weekend.
If an area of low pressure does form, most of the forecast guidance suggests it would track in the direction of the southwest Gulf of Mexico early next week.
That said, there is no cause for concern if you come across images on social media of computer model forecasts indicating a potential tropical storm next week in the Gulf of Mexico.
The situation bears watching, but it's far from certain whether any tropical system will actually develop. At the very least, we may see a surge of tropical moisture work its way northward toward the Gulf Coast.
Check back with during the week ahead for updates on this potential system.

June's Typical Formation Areas

The western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are two of the areas we typically look for the development of tropical storms in June.
This map shows the typical formation areas and tracks for named storms in June.
Any storms that do form typically track north or northeastward, which brings the Gulf Coast and the Southeast coast in play for potential impacts.
On average, there's one June named storm in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico every one to two years.
June 2016 was an outlier with Bonnie, Colin and Danielle all spinning through the Atlantic basin as tropical storms.
(MORE: What to Expect During June)
MORE: Atlantic Basin Retired Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

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