Tropical Storms Maria and Lee are zooming to their eventual doom over the North Atlantic. Our attention is being drawn southward.
Maria has 60 mph winds–and I think that may be generous–as it moves east a 31 mph into colder water. Colder air, too, is being caught up in Maria’s circulation. It won’t last more than a day or two. Lee is also losing organization quickly. It is now a tropical storm with 70 mph winds moving northeast at 31 mph. It will get absorbed in a cold front soon.
Farther south, there are two areas that we are watching for tropical development. The first is close to home, but poses little threat to the central Gulf Coast. It is indicated by the orange X on the map south of Florida. It will likely move into the Gulf, but computer model forecasts are not getting a good handle on this yet. The low pressure is broad and doesn’t have a well-defined center. In model forecasts, small errors in the starting spot can lead to big errors down the road. There are other factors, however, that lead me to believe that it will not come here. In particular, two fronts: a stationary front south of us in the Gulf and another that will pass through late this weekend should keep away whatever this system might become. Low pressure could pass close enough to bump up our Monday rain chance, but not much more.
Another area of clouds and low pressure in the eastern Caribbean is indicated by the yellow X on the map. This system has a very low chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next 5 days, but beyond that time frame conditions may get more favorable as it moves toward the Gulf of Mexico. There are too many “ifs” with this for you to fret about this disturbance now. We’ll keep an eye on it and keep you informed.