Tropical weather analysis - June 29, 2012
The unusually active north Atlantic tropics refuse to shut off the engine, and give me some much needed rest. An area of disturbed weather associated with a tropical wave located about 800 miles east of the Windward Islands was recently designated an invest ("97L"). Visible satellite images show that the associated shower activity has become a little better organized this evening, and the wave axis appears to be situated within this convection based on recent scatterometer data.
Figure 1. Latest infrared satellite image of Invest 97L. Image credit: NOAA
Strangely, there appears to be some easterly shear over the system as evidenced by the squashed outflow pattern in the right quadrant. However, synoptic data doesn't really support high level easterlies over the system. Assuming I'm not imagining things, I theorize that there's some shear beneath the outflow layer.
Personal musings aside, the system is surrounded by dry air, which should limit significant development despite the seemingly favorable shear pattern. Although some short-term development is possible, strong westerly shear awaits the wave as it moves through the Leeward Islands in a few days. None of the models develop this wave, and I don't expect development either. Nevertheless, the wave may bring some squally weather to portions of the Windward and Leeward Islands at the beginning of next week. Also, given the wave's convective vigor, I would be cognizant of the potential for long-range development in the Eastern Pacific. None of the models are currently indicating this, but we shall see. The northern portion of the wave axis may also need to be watched in about a week as it finds a more favorable environment in the western Caribbean.
Probability of development within 48 hours: 20%
Gulf of Mexico disturbance
A large area of elongated showers and thunderstorms has developed over the western Gulf of Mexico. Conditions are not favorable for development in this area, and the system is forecast to move inland over coastal Texas in about a day.
Probability of development within 48 hours: 10%