Thursday, August 02, 2012

So, What About Tropical Depression 5?

Tropical Depression 5 formed yesterday in the Atlantic and is zipping along to the west, a disorganized mess of sorts thanks to a bit of wind shear in the upper atmosphere.  The environment for this system is not the greatest at this point...and as Matt pointed out yesterday...TD 5 will be moving into a historically unfavorable environment for tropical cyclones in the Eastern Caribbean over the next couple of days.

With the unfavorable environment over it now, the increasingly unfavorable environs through Sunday, and the general weak state of the tropical low it should not be a surprise if the storm were declassified as a tropical cyclone within the next 24 to 36 hours (if not sooner).  That said, it would also not surprise me if it were to come back and redevelop further down the line as it tracks into the Western Caribbean early next week.  Model guidance pushes this generally west to west-northwest.  Given it should remain generally weak and with the shearing atmosphere ahead of it through the weekend, it will remain weak and that typically favors a more west than northwest track.

If we place the system south of Jamaica by early next week, the Western Caribbean will offer a much more optimal position for tropical development and modeling suggests that it will have a better chance to regenerate (or, if it somehow survived the next three days, a chance to quickly get going).  Once there, the GFS takes the storm into the Mayan Riviera and then eventually through the Bay of Campeche (southern Gulf of Mexico) into Mexico.  The Euro takes a weaker version of this across the Yucatan and then the remnants along a similar track to that of the GFS...just weaker. There isn't anything coming downstream through the northern US that could pick this storm up and pull it towards the US early next week (there is one trough that will push into the Northeast but that trough will largely "miss" this tropical system).

In a nutshell, this system is one that likely isn't an East Coast threat and, if it can't get its act together, won't be much of a threat to anyone other than a round of gusty wind and rain as it passes through the Caribbean Islands over the next couple of days.  It needs to get through the shear and unfavorable environment first.  By Sunday, there may be some hope for it to develop farther.