A tropical low located several hundred of miles southeast of the Windward Islands in the Atlantic looks like it will be close behind Shary in developing into a named storm. Whether it develops or not, it could become a big problem for the part of the Lesser and Greater Antilles.
If the low does become a named tropical storm, it would be the 19th named tropical system in the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The next name on the list for the 2010 season is Tomas.
Satellite images Friday morning are indicating that there is a good circulation with showers and thunderstorms wrapping around the center.
Conditions are conducive for further organization into a tropical depression or storm over the next couple of days.
The low is over water that is warm enough to support strengthening, and there is little wind shear (winds high in the atmosphere that can interfere with tropical system's circulation).
If it does not develop over the open waters of the Atlantic over the next couple of days, the system may have a second chance to develop once over central Caribbean waters next week.
In the meantime, it will cause major concerns of flooding in the islands bordering the Caribbean.
Torrential rainfall will spread into Lesser Antilles by tonight as the system approaches with even heavier rain arriving during the day on Saturday.
The large system will slam these islands through much of the weekend as it crosses into the Caribbean. Locally gusty winds will also be a concern, mainly around complexes of thunderstorms.
The Greater Antilles, including Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands, will begin to get soaked by the end of the weekend and into next week as the system continues on a westward path through the Caribbean along the northern coast of South America.
The U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba and other land masses in the Caribbean have already been hit hard by tropical systems and especially flooding rainfall this season.
Heavy rain could further spread the cholera outbreak in Haiti and may lead to more risks to lives and property in that nation and others if it wanders close enough.
People in Central America have been hammered by storm after storm this year. People in this area should monitor the system near the Windwards.
Content contributed by Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist
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North Carolina (1975)
Lightning killed 13 cows during a thunderstorm at Kenansville. Heavy rains elsewhere in the state forced the Tar River out of its banks at Greenville, causing 14 families to evacuate their homes.
New York (1975)
Severe thunderstorms in western and central NY: lightning struck a city park in Rochester injuring 12 children, all were playing on a metal jungle gym. One patrolman described the scene as if "someone threw a stick of dynamite in the middle of the crowd and it blew."
Southeastern MA (1990)
Torrential rains: Middleboro 7.20" Bridgewater 5.00" Tauton 4.33" Abington 3.05" Cars were stranded in high water in Fall River, MA.