Tropical Depression #18 Forms in Caribbean; Weak Low in Central Atlantic......
Take note of the sharp cut-off in data over the far E. Atlantic. The problem is that the GOES-13 satellite is malfunctioning. Work is ongoing but for the time being the satellite -- GOES-15 -- that usually covers the Western U.S. & parts of the Pacific has been moved east to cover more of the Atlantic Basin. Click here for info. from the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Studies (CIMSS) & to view other satellite sectors.
Tropical depression #18 has formed in the Caribbean south of Jamaica. Strong upper level troughing looks like it'll remain in place -- in one form another -- over the Eastern U.S. which could protect the Southeast U.S. from any Caribbean disturbance but such will ultimately depend on the exact orientation & intensity of the trough. Heavy rain, rough seas & surf & gusty winds will affect Jamaica soon as well as parts of Cuba & Hispaniola later this week then the Bahamas by late week. The depression -- which should become "Sandy" will move northeast & undergo increasing shear by the weekend as it moves into the W. Atlantic well east of Fl. The combination of the shear + interaction with an upper level trough & possible frontal system could give the disturbance a more subtropical structure this weekend. Any cruises this week to the Caribbean might have to be rerouted. A tropical storm WATCH is in effect for Jamaica.
As for the First Coast.....it would appear directly effects will be relegated to a stiff east/northeast breeze Fri.-Sat., rough seas & surf & a high rip current risk -- all, of course, dependent on the exact location & intensity of whatever this disturbance becomes (Sandy?).
Elsewhere....a weak low pressure area continues over the Central Atlantic 500+ miles east of the Bahamas. Notice in the satellite photo above the approaching band of clouds which is a cold front. This front will eventually absorb this low -- & along with increasing shear -- should inhibit much significant development. In any case...the low will move north then northeast & accelerate to the northeast far to the east of the U.S. over the open Atlantic.