Tropical Storm could develop in Caribbean Sea by Wednesday

Potential Tropical Cycline Six - 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10 Advisory
Potential Tropical Cycline Six - 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10 Advisory(WCTV Pinpoint Weather)
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A tropical wave that looks more like a tropical storm on satellite imagery continues to move west-northwestward south of the U.S. Virgin Islands Tuesday evening.

The National Hurricane Center, which maintained the potential tropical cyclone designation as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, still expects the wave to become a tropical storm as soon as Wednesday morning. Despite its impressive appearance Tuesday, it may have been ingesting drier air according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. discussion. Radar from San Juan, Puerto Rico showed multiple low- to mid-level centers that indicate that the center is not organized and is not stacked. Hurricane Hunter flight data from Tuesday morning indicated that the system did not form a closed center of circulation and remained an open tropical wave.

The official forecast track hasn’t changed much since previous advisories, but the Big Bend and South Georgia were in the cone of uncertainty with the 5 p.m. Tuesday update. The forecast brings the future tropical cyclone into the Dominican Republic and Haiti Wednesday and moving back into the water afterward. The storm would either move over Cuba Thursday through Friday, likely degrading it’s intensity, or stay just north of the island. Many of the guidance models have the latter solution, which would have it as a tropical storm. It’s then forecast to move into the Florida Straits Friday and move northwestward around a ridge of high pressure, moving the storm either into the eastern Gulf of Mexico or into the Florida peninsula during the weekend.

Regardless of the intensity forecast, rain chances will increase during the weekend into early next week. The threat of more rainfall could place area rivers that have moved into flood stage recently back into that stage. Beyond increased rain chances, it’s too early to give specifics with wind, surge and other hazards.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress of the potential tropical cyclone.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea was still not organized yet as Hurricane Hunters explored the cluster of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday morning.

The National Hurricane Center gave it the status and name of Potential Tropical Cyclone Six Monday evening, which allowed the issuance of watches and warnings. Tropical storm warnings were in effect for Puerto Rico, the eastern Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands as of Tuesday morning.

Data from Hurricane Hunters from inside the storm mid-morning Tuesday show that the wave was still a tropical wave. The circulation did not show signs yet of becoming a closed low, a requirement to become a tropical cyclone. Hurricane Hunters also found a peak wind speed at the surface of around 45 knots (~52 mph) just before 10 a.m. Drier air still remained ahead and south of the system and will be a limiting factor for rapid development.

Spiral banding remained impressive on the north side based on satellite imagery Tuesday morning.

The official forecast has the disturbance becoming a tropical storm Tuesday and move through the northeastern Caribbean Sea until Wednesday when it will likely move over the mountainous terrain of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The terrain will decrease the intensity of the future storm to a tropical depression, according to the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center. Heavy rain and flooding will be a concern for that island.

The future tropical cyclone is forecast to either move back over the water near the southeastern Bahamas or move into eastern Cuba Thursday into Friday. The latter scenario would keep the system on a weaker strength level, but bring the threat of flooding and heavy rain to the island.

Beyond Cuba, the four and five-day forecasts have it returning to tropical storm status by Saturday morning as it moves over the Florida Straits and moving northwestward into the western Gulf of Mexico, over the Florida peninsula or just off of Florida’s east coast.

The main steering mechanism will be a ridge of high pressure in the Atlantic. It’s too early to get specific with potential impacts to the Big Bend and South Georgia, and time will tell how well organized the system remains and how strong it gets.

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress of the system in the Caribbean Sea.

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