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Hurricane Center Watching Two Tropical Waves

The most active period of the Atlantic hurricane season is quickly approaching, and there are two areas of interest to keep an eye on. Neither system is an immediate threat to Florida, but one in particular could be cause for concern in about a week.

A tropical wave in the Caribbean (referred to by meteorologists as Invest 90) has a medium chance of developing into a tropical storm over the next five days as it moves west-northwest toward Mexico.  A stronger wave over the far east Atlantic (Invest 99) has a high chance of developing in the next five days and could potentially be within a few hundred miles of the Leeward Islands.

Invest 90 in the Caribbean

A model comparison of what may happen with Invest 90 next week.
A model comparison of what may happen with Invest 90 next week.

The tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean (Invest 90) is unlikely to develop in the next 48 hours. However, conditions are forecast to become more favorable for gradual development by early next week as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula.  Water temperatures are plenty warm, adequate atmospheric moisture exists, and wind shear is expected to lighten some by then.One forecast model in particular, the European, is quite robust in it’s formation of a strong tropical storm or hurricane when Invest 90 arrives in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. On the other hand, another reliable forecast model – the American-based GFS, projects the system to stay fairly weak until it moves inland over Mexico. Needless to say, confidence is still quite low on the eventual outcome of Invest 90, but regardless we believe it is unlikely to be a direct threat to Florida.



Invest 99 in the east Atlantic

Forecast models for Invest 99
Forecast models for Invest 99

This one is likely to develop and a “must watch” for Floridians. Invest 99 was nothing more than a disorganized mess of thunderstorms over the eastern Atlantic on Friday.  However, atmospheric and oceanic conditions are favorable for development when it reaches the central Atlantic, and the National Hurricane Center has given it a “high chance” of becoming a tropical storm.  Most reliable forecast models, including both the European and American-based GFS, show some resemblance of a tropical weather system near or north of the Leeward Islands about a week from now.

While it certainly too early to project an eventual outcome of Invest 99, this development should serve as a reminder to all Floridians that the heart of the Atlantic hurricane season is approaching.  More than half of the season’s annual activity occurs after August 15. The season’s tradition peak (in terms of storm frequency) is around September 10.

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