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T.D. #5 Develops in E. Atlantic

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Updated: 8/14/2013 11:42 pm
Tropical wave approaching Yucatan... T.D. #5 far E. Atlantic.....

Weak low pressure has developed over the Western/NW Caribbean in association with the tropical wave I've been tracking for days.  Thunderstorms have waxed & waned, & the wave will have to battle to survive due to possible land interaction with the Yucatan + shear over the Northern Gulf.

The GFS forecast model remains quite consistent on a genearlly weak tropical cyclone that could reach the Central Gulf Coast this weekend as either an open wave or perhaps weak tropical storm.  The European model has also been quite consistent -- especially on intensity -- with a weak system -- little more than an open wave or very weak low pressure -- moving into the Central or Eastern Gulf Coast by the weekend
.  Other forecast models range from a weak low to a full blown hurricane.  Given the marginal environment for intensification & current satellite data, it would seem the wave will struggle before becoming absorbed by an upper level trough moving into the Eastern U.S.

It does appear that at least a depression could evolve as the system moves N/NW through or near the Yucatan Channel then into the open, warm Gulf of Mexico.  Shear (6th image below) is strong in a ribbon across the far NW Caribbean & extreme Southern Gulf but lower over the Central Gulf but becomes much stronger again over the Northern Gulf.  An upper level trough will dig into the Eastern half of the U.S. helping to encourage a move more north.  So the Gulf Coast appears to be a likely candidate for whatever this wave becomes (or doesn't become).  In any case....this wave is something to carefully watch & anyone with travel plans west on I-10 anywhere along the Gulf Coast should stay up to date on the latest forecasts.

For the First Coast....it looks like the primary effects would be a slug of tropical moisture pushing north to the east of the wave which would increase the local heavy rain potential.  There would be few other significant impacts unless the system becomes stronger & -- especially -- tracks farther east.

"Spaghetti plots" (forecast models) courtesy the S. Fl. Water Management District:

Large areas of dry mid & upper level air (black & rust colored areas on the water vapor satellite image below) remains over the Central & SW Atlantic. Overall conditions remain unsuitable for significant tropical development as shear generally remains high too. There has been moistening over the Eastern Atlantic & some forecast models are indicating tropical development in the far Eastern Atlantic (besides #5) during the last 10 days or so of Aug.

Shear is strong over much of the Atlantic Basin -- as can be seen below -- exceeding 30, even 40 knots over parts of the Caribbean...exceeding 40 knots over the Central Atlantic....& 20+ knots over the Northern Gulf of Mexico....

Tropical depression #5 has formed over the far Eastern Atlantic.  Conditions will be marginal the farther west #5 goes which could cause the cyclone to eventually lose steam.  At this point, it does not look like #5 can survive a Transatlantic trip.

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