After a quiet few weeks in the tropics, things could get interesting by week's end.
It's been a quiet month so far in the tropics, thanks to dry, stable air and wind shear. But as we head into the busier climatological peak of the season, things are starting to look at least a little more interesting.
- National Hurricane Center
As of this morning, the National Hurricane Center has alerted two areas of possible development. One near the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa and the other in the Western Caribbean.
- Possible Tropical Development Areas- National Hurricane Center
Believe it or not, one of those areas could turn into D.C.'s next best chance for rain early next week. While it's too soon to say with any certainty that we will have tropical downpours, it's looking increasingly likely that a tropical system will impact the Gulf of Mexico late in the week. This is a satellite picture of the cluster of thunderstorms in the Western Caribbean that is becoming more organized.
- Tropical Floater Satellite NOAA
It has a 50% chance of developing a closed tropical circulation in the next 48 hours and it's even more likely that it will become at least a tropical depression when it enters the Gulf of Mexico late week. This is the latest computer model forecast (GFS) for the system by Friday night.
- GFS Computer Model Forecast Friday Night
While this is just one possible solution, if the disturbance takes the track near the central Gulf, it will bring heavy rainfall to a part of the country that is already waterlogged. The Southeast coast will get soaked with a significant flood threat on this track regardless if it becomes a tropical storm or not. Other possible tracks look like this:
The second area we are watching is in the far eastern Atlantic and it has a high probability of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next two days. However, after that time, it will encounter wind shear that will likely limit it's potential to strengthen. It will be a "race" so to speak as to which could get a name first. Erin and Fernand are next on the list.
- 2013 Hurricane Names List
We'll keep you posted on chances of them affecting the U.S and/or D.C. in the days ahead. You can also find the latest at The National Hurricane Center website at www.nhc.noaa.gov .