Updated 8:30 a.m. EDT Saturday
The Tropical Disturbance we’ve been watching – NHC-tagged Invest 95L – is about halfway across the tropical Atlantic from Africa to the Caribbean. It’s a ragged system and the thunderstorms are all piled on one side of the apparent circulation.
The National Hurricane Center designation just means they are focusing on the system for investigation.
The disturbance has a few things going against it, and one big thing going for it. The upper-level winds are plenty conducive for it to develop. On the other hand, the system is quite small. Petite circulations can spin up fast if they find a conducive patch of atmosphere, but they can also die quickly if they ingest too much dry air.
A large area of Saharan dust sprawls across the tropical Atlantic, including just north and ahead of the disturbance. The dust combined with the rapid forward speed of the system will make it difficult for the disturbance to get very strong and last.
The National Hurricane Center is giving the disturbance a high chance of becoming a tropical depression. It looks close to that status now. But the prospects of it developing into much of a storm look much lower.
For now, stay informed in the eastern Caribbean islands. On the current schedule, the disturbance, or whatever shape it’s in, will arrive at the islands about Tuesday, plus or minus.
At this point, the atmospheric pattern over the Caribbean Sea appears hostile, so the system doesn’t look like an ongoing threat. And there is no indication of a threat to the U.S. or surrounding areas.
Far to the north, Tropical Storm Don got a little stronger over the last day, but it is heading north into the cold Atlantic. It won’t be a threat to land.
Otherwise, disturbances are coming off Africa on schedule, but the tropical Atlantic is not yet conducive for the systems to develop despite the very warm ocean water.
Enjoy it for now.