SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - An area of low pressure, designated Invest 95-L, is located about 750 miles to the east of the southern Lesser Antilles or along 53 West Longitude continues to be monitored for potential tropical development which could occur within the next day or two, Crown Weather said on Monday.
“The latest satellite imagery indicates that the thunderstorm activity flared up a bit a few hours ago, however, imagery over the last hour or two indicates that the thunderstorms have diminished a little. In addition, the first visible images reveal that Invest 95-L lacks a well-defined low-pressure center. Given that the environmental conditions ahead of Invest 95-L are marginally favorable, we may see the low-pressure system become better defined as we get into later today and Tuesday.
“The environmental conditions around Invest 95-L, as I already mentioned, are marginally favorable for development. The wind shear around Invest 95-L has decreased a little as compared to yesterday with 10-20 knots of shear currently impacting the system. In addition, wind shear values as low as 5 to 10 knots are occurring just to the west of Invest 95-L and this is something that will need to be watched as this could lead to a more favorable environment for development.
“There continues to be quite a bit of dry air located close to Invest 95-L and I think if we do see this system start to spin up it will pull in this dry air leading to an abrupt stop to any additional strengthening. Bottom line is that any development and strengthening is likely to be slow to occur.
“Looking at the latest model guidance – The GFS model guidance is more interested in development of the tropical disturbance that is currently located to the east of Invest 95-L (near 35-40 West Longitude). With that said, the GFS model forecasts that Invest 95-L will be a tropical storm by the time it reaches Barbados and the southern Lesser Antilles on Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening. After that, the GFS model forecasts that Invest 95-L will weaken and dissipate as it moves across the Caribbean during Wednesday and Thursday due to very unfavorable environmental conditions.
“The Canadian model guidance also forecasts development into a tropical storm by late Monday night or Tuesday morning with Invest 95-L moving across Barbados and the southern Lesser Antilles as a tropical storm on Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening. Beyond this, the Canadian model guidance forecasts Invest 95-L to remain a tropical storm in the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday before it weakens and dissipates in the western Caribbean on Thursday due to unfavorable environmental conditions.
“The European model guidance continues to forecast no development from Invest 95-L. It should be noted that the European model has been missing storms left and right in the western Pacific and this is something that should be considered when comparing the guidance.
“All of the tropical cyclone track guidance forecasts that Invest 95-L will move just south of Barbados on Tuesday afternoon and across the southern Lesser Antilles on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
“Given everything that I have looked at today, I think that there is about a 40 to 50 percent chance that Invest 95-L will become a tropical depression or a tropical storm between late today and Tuesday. With that said, even if this system does become a tropical depression or a tropical storm, its life as a depression or a storm is likely to be short lived. The reason why is because once this system moves into the eastern and especially the central Caribbean, it will encounter very strong westerly wind shear which is likely to lead to weakening and dissipation by the middle to end of this week.
“One factor that may help Invest 95-L develop into a tropical depression/tropical storm is that some of the moisture from the disturbance near 37 West Longitude may be ingested by Invest 95-L. If this happens, it could help to fight off the dry air that is lurking to the north of Invest 95-L. In addition, small systems like Invest 95-L can be more tolerant of dry air trying to work into the system, have the capacity to spin up fairly quickly and can be missed sometimes by the model guidance.
“All-in-all, I think that Invest 95-L does have a chance to develop into a tropical depression or a tropical storm within the next day or two and everyone in Barbados and the southern Lesser Antilles should monitor this system.
“Tropical storm conditions are possible starting on Tuesday afternoon and continuing into Tuesday evening. These conditions will include heavy rain squalls, up to 40 mph winds and rough seas which are expected throughout Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening across the southern Lesser Antilles and Barbados. Improving weather conditions are expected starting on Wednesday morning as this system moves into the eastern Caribbean.
“Even if Invest 95-L does not develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm, it will still bring very squally weather to Barbados and the southern Lesser Antilles on Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night,” Crown Weather said on Monday.