The Weather Channel
Tropical development is increasingly likely in the Caribbean Sea and could pose a threat to parts of Central America this weekend or early next week.
In the wake of Hurricane Ian's devastating strike in Florida, the Atlantic hurricane season still has a little less than two months left, including the typically active month of October.
This latest disturbance, known to meteorologists as Invest 91L, is headed toward the Windward Islands just north of the coast of South America.
An "invest" is an area the National Hurricane Center is watching closely for development using advanced computer models and other resources, including the Hurricane Hunters.
Right now, westerly winds aloft are blowing thunderstorms away from the disturbance's broad area of low pressure. This wind shear typically prevents or acts to slow a tropical system's development.
Regardless, this disturbance will move across the Windward Islands on Wednesday, bringing showers and some gusty winds.
After that, wind shear should be much lower as the system moves westward over an ample supply of deep, warm water in Caribbean Sea for the rest of this week. Therefore, we expect the disturbance to become a tropical depression or storm by late this week or the weekend.
The next named storms in the Atlantic Basin will get the names Julia, then Karl. Because there's another system in the eastern Atlantic that could briefly develop into a named storm, it's not certain which name this Caribbean system will get.
Where It's Headed
As usual for a system in its infancy, the track and intensity forecast has uncertainty.
High pressure aloft is expected to expand westward. This is expected to act like a gate, keeping the system from entering the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Therefore, they do not expect the system to pose a threat to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
While there could be an increase in showers, they also expect it to track far enough south to keep the heaviest rain away from Puerto Rico, still recovering from Hurricane Fiona's flooding rain a few weeks ago
This steering pattern is expected to push this system toward Central America, somewhere between Mexico's southern Yucatan Peninsula and Nicaragua.
Computer forecast models differ in their timing, ranging from a landfall as soon as this weekend farther south to a landfall early next week farther north.
As far as the intensity forecast is concerned, it appears at least a tropical storm is a good bet, eventually, with a chance of a hurricane, especially if this system moves a bit slower.
All interests in Central America from the southern Yucatan Peninsula to Costa Rica, including Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize, should monitor this forecast closely for updates in the coming days.
The Government has sought feedback on the Digital Identity bill which is to be debated in parliament. Do you support the introduction of this Bill?