Tropical wave near Lesser Antilles has a high chance of development

The National Hurricane Center is giving a wave east of the Lesser Antilles a 70% chance of...
The National Hurricane Center is giving a wave east of the Lesser Antilles a 70% chance of tropical development over the next five days.(First Alert Weather via NHC/NOAA)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 1:34 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A tropical wave that was east of the Lesser Antilles Tuesday afternoon has a likely chance of development as it’s forecast to move into the Caribbean Sea over the next five days, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The tropical wave was several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands. The wave had “become better organized” Tuesday morning, according to a special update posted by the National Hurricane Center.

Infrared satellite image of tropical wave Tuesday afternoon east of the Windward Islands. The...
Infrared satellite image of tropical wave Tuesday afternoon east of the Windward Islands. The odds are high of tropical cyclone development according to the National Hurricane Center.(Charles Roop / WCTV First Alert Weather)

The wave remained somewhat elongated from west to east based on satellite imagery from the early afternoon on Tuesday. Cirrus “feathering” on the northern side of the wave suggested a favorable upper-level environment for continued strengthening.

The ocean heat content was very high in much of the Caribbean Sea, meaning that there is plenty of fuel for tropical development.

Confidence is high of a generally westward track of the low into the Caribbean Sea through 96 hours (Saturday morning), but the track diverges greatly beyond that.

There are caveats with global guidance models to keep in mind. First, the forecast track in a model is dependent on whether a center of circulation has developed and is not subject to redevelopment. Redevelopment of a storm’s center will impact the future track of the low (e.g. travel more north if it redevelops north, etc.). If a tropical cyclone can develop, maintain its strength and guidance models do well with ingesting and processing the storm’s attributes, the better a model will have a handle on the future path.

Second, the stronger the tropical cyclone, the taller the thunderstorm complex. The higher, deeper clouds will allow the storm to be steered by mid- to upper-level weather patterns. The weaker the storm, the better odds of the lower-level patterns to steer the system. The strength will determine it’s fate with respect to path.

The First Alert Weather Team will continue to monitor the progress of the tropical wave.