Published: August 13,2017
A new area of disturbed weather in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean bears watching for the potential formation of a tropical depression or storm later this week.
This tropical disturbance has been dubbed Invest 91L by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The term "Invest" is used to identify features that have a chance to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm.
(MORE: What is an Invest?)
For now, the NHC has given this system a medium chance of development during the next five days. Those odds could increase in the days ahead, however.
Atlantic Area to Watch
The environment around the tropical wave and a nearby broad area of low pressure is fairly moist, which could help aid in its ability to continue generating concentrated shower and thunderstorm activity if the area of storminess can consolidate.
Water Vapor Satellite Imagery
The good news is that we have plenty of time to monitor the progress of Invest 91L since it's not expected to reach the longitude of the Lesser Antilles until next weekend. It's far too early to determine any impacts on those islands or any other location farther down road since there is uncertainty surrounding this system's exact future track and strength.
(MORE: Hurricane Central)
Uncertainty is not uncommon for this far out in time, particularly when a tropical cyclone has yet to develop.
The bottom line is that we are in the climatological peak of the hurricane season, so each tropical wave or area of the low pressure in the Atlantic basin must be watched closely for development. As the image to the right shows, named storms can form in about every part of the Atlantic basin this time of year.
The red dots represent where named storms have developed in the Atlantic during mid-August.As an example, the disturbance that formed into Tropical Storm Gert to the northeast of the Bahamas this weekend was tracked for nearly 10 days before it finally developed. That tropical wave also originated near the African coast.
That said, not all tropical waves or low-pressure systems that emerge from Africa become tropical depressions or storms, but they are all monitored closely, particularly when atmospheric conditions are ripe for them to spin up.
Check back with weather.com for updates in the days ahead on this latest system and the rest of hurricane season.
(MORE: NOAA Predicts Active Rest of the Hurricane Season)
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