A tropical disturbance, Invest 97L, between Africa and the Windward Islands, could develop into the next Atlantic named storm later in the week, and may pose a threat into next week in the Caribbean basin and possibly beyond.
It should be noted this disturbance is starting out at a fairly low latitude, south of 10 degrees. Therefore, showers and gusty winds are expected in such locations as St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, perhaps Trinidad and Tobago, Wednesday into Thursday.
For now, this tropical wave is located roughly halfway between the Lesser Antilles and Africa. It’s a tropical “wave” because winds at the surface do not exhibit a closed low-pressure circulation, but rather shift from northeasterly ahead of the wave to southeasterly behind the wave.
The National Hurricane Center has given this system a high chance for formation into a tropical depression over the next 2 to 5 day period as it nears the Lesser Antilles into the Caribbean. The next named storm in the Atlantic would be Matthew.
By Thursday, the system, either still a tropical wave, depression, or Tropical Storm Matthew, will move into the eastern Caribbean Sea. Beyond that, uncertainty is high on this system’s future.
There are currently west to northwest winds aloft over the Caribbean Sea, providing some wind shear which is typically hostile to the development and intensification of tropical cyclones.