Keeping An Eye on the Southwest Caribbean

The southwest Caribbean is a place to watch for tropical depression development this week. Only 5% of named storms form in November so it is rare, but not impossible. Most recently Kate became a hurricane in November 2015. On Monday it’s a wait and see situation.  Wind shear is low in the extreme southwest Caribbean and broad low pressure may form over the next 5 days. Officially, there is a medium chance of tropical depression development by Saturday. The next named storm is Otto. The movement would be slow north or northeast.

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This is a favorable spot for a tropical low to develop. Sea surface temperatures in the low to mid 80s are plenty warm for organization.

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Computer models and some ensembles are on board with tropical depression development late work week/this weekend. The 12Z European model shows a tropical depression/possible weak Tropical Storm Otto Friday near Central America. The 12Z GFS is slower to develop this feature but does show pressure lowering in the vicinity Friday.

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One change in the computer models over the past few days is the slow movement of the possible future tropical depression/named storm. With a series of highs building in over the Southeast U.S. the low may be suppressed south and meander in the Caribbean for several days. This could pose a heavy rain threat for Central America/some of the islands. Below is the 12Z European model versus the 12Z GFS model Monday afternoon. The Euro shows a weak Tropical Storm Otto drifting near Hispaniola. The GFS suggests an even slower moving and also weak tropical cyclone over the warm waters of the southwest Caribbean.

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