Tracking the Tropics: Development possible in Caribbean later this week or this weekend


TAMPA, Fla. (WLFA) — The tropics have been quiet for a week now but they may soon be heating back up again with development possible as early as this weekend.

A tropical wave in the central Caribbean Sea will continue to move west through the end of the week. It will begin to interact with a stalled frontal boundary as it approaches the western Caribbean and a broad area of low pressure is expected to form.

By this weekend, conditions will be favorable for slow development of the low pressure. A tropical depression could form over the weekend.

It is too soon to tell where the potential system may go or how strong it will be. The tropical wave currently just consists of showers and thunderstorms. Forecast models do not do well with undeveloped systems.

There has been some trend in the American model, the GFS, that the system may move west, possibly into the western Gulf or into the Bay of Campeche but it would stay weak. Other models do not develop the system at all.

The next name in the Greek alphabet is Gamma. Remember, a storm does not get a name until it is declared a tropical storm, not a depression. A tropical storm requires a central, closed area of circulation and sustained winds of 39 mph or greater.

With the calendar flipping into October, the areas to watch for development move into the Caribbean Sea (where the current tropical wave is), the Gulf of Mexico and in the Atlantic off the United States east coast.

Florida is typically more prone to landfalling storms in October. This is due to cold fronts moving into the southeast and turning storms in the Gulf to the northwest.

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