Caribbean Tropical Troubles This Week?

July 25, 2011; 6:13 AM ET
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The image above shows the waves we are watching in the Tropical Atlantic. Right now, the one which is most concerning to the United States is moving through the Lesser Antilles. meteorologists continue to monitor a tropical wave in the Caribbean for possible development this week.

After a busy week in the tropics where two named storms developed in the Atlantic and a major hurricane in Dora churned the waters of the Eastern Pacific, our attention turns to a tropical wave which is bringing showers and thunderstorms to Hispaniola, Jamaica, and eastern Cuba.

This wave currently shows no signs of organization as strong wind shear or twisting of the winds in the atmosphere is preventing a surface circulation from forming. Also, interactions with Hispaniola are preventing much in the way of shower and thunderstorm activity from developing.

Therefore, while the Caribbean islands will be in for an active start this week in terms of shower and thunderstorm activity, meteorologists feel that any further organization of the wave will be very slow to occur, if at all.

However, there are a few things to keep an eye on, which could lead to some tropical development by the middle part of the week.

First off, the latest forecast models take this wave west-northwest over the next few days as the Bermuda high remains strong. The wind shear in its path is a little lighter than what it is over the central and southern Caribbean. However, interactions with the land masses in the Caribbean should inhibit significant organization through midweek.

By Wednesday, this feature could emerge in the southern Gulf of Mexico while still continuing to track westward. Atmospheric conditions are much more favorable for development in the Gulf due to the warm sea-surface temperatures and the lack of wind shear.

Should this feature survive the trek across the Caribbean islands, it could organize by the middle part of the week in the Gulf.

Therefore, residents across the Caribbean and along the Gulf Coast of the United States should stay tuned to over the coming days as we continue to monitor this wave.

Regardless of development, heavy showers and thunderstorms will continue to impact eastern Cuba and Jamaica through today.

Locally heavy rains over these Caribbean islands will lead to flash flooding and potential mudslides. It has already been a wet month for many cities.


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