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    Still Watching the Western Caribbean

    October 22, 2011; 5:16 PM ET
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    A satellite image of the low over the western Caribbean afternoon. Thunderstorms are mostly north and west of the center.

    Unsettled weather in the western Caribbean, including downpours and thunderstorms, could become a tropical depression during the first part of the workweek.

    While the wait is on for potential organization into a tropical system, downpours continue to hit parts of Central America.

    The persistent, unsettled weather off the eastern coast of Nicaragua has been wrapping the country in downpours and thunderstorms in recent days. Saturated soil has led to rising flood waters with rivers and streams having difficulty keeping up with the consistent rain.

    The threat of flooding rain may lessen over the next day or two as the disturbance in the western Caribbean crawls northward farther away from land.

    "The storm off the Nicaraguan coast will track north through early this week, heading into open warm water and minimal wind shear," said Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller.

    "The two factors (open water and less shear) will combine for much more favorable conditions for tropical development," Miller added.

    Its close proximity to land has been the main inhibitor for development, but its northward track will bring it more over water early next week. Another potential limiting factor is rather dry air that can be found from southern Mexico to South Florida. This could be entrained into a developing storm, which would slow its development.

    The track of any named storm that may form in the western Caribbean early this week remains up in the air, but potential targets include Cuba, the Yucatan Peninsula and the Florida Peninsula.

    The long-term prospects of a future tropical depression or storm may include its rain being pulled north into the Southeast via the eastern Gulf of Mexico. It's possible this moisture will add to the impact of a potential storm in the Northeast late next week.

    Content of this story was contributed in part by Meteorologist Evan Duffey and Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait.

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