The National Hurricane Center experts identified a tropical depression in the Atlantic yesterday morning, and they also have their eyes on a possible troublemaker in the Caribbean.
Tropical Depression 11
This is going to be another “fish,” that is, it will stay out to sea. It may not even become Jerry – the next Atlantic named storm – because, while the sea surface temperatures out there are plenty warm enough, there is a weather system between TD 11 and North America that is providing a lot of shear over the tropical depression.
Tropical cyclones need some shear just to get going, but too much can hinder their development or even destroy them.
If we do get Jerry out of this, it will probably be at the most a tropical storm. It may not even get to that stage, though, per the NHC’s most recent discussion (5 p.m. Eastern today):
ALTHOUGH THE ENVIRONMENT IS FAR FROM IDEAL FOR STRENGTHENING…THE INTENSITY MODEL CONSENSUS CONTINUES TO INDICATE THAT THE CYCLONE WILL STRENGTHEN A LITTLE OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO…AND THIS IS ALSO SHOWN IN THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST WHICH IS CLOSE TO THE CONSENSUS. IT SHOULD BE NOTED…HOWEVER…THAT THE LATEST HWRF AND ECMWF MODEL FORECASTS SHOW THE SYSTEM PRACTICALLY DISSIPATED BY THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD…SO THIS IS A LOW-CONFIDENCE INTENSITY FORECAST.
An invest is a “weather system for which a tropical cyclone forecast center (NHC, CPHC, or JTWC) is interested in collecting specialized data sets (e.g., microwave imagery) and/or running model guidance,” per the NHC online glossary. They’re usually given numbers in the 90s.
Here is a satellite image of the current Invest 97L:
It’s amazing that blobs like that can sometimes grow into monsters like this:
Anyway, while I’m not a knowledgeable meteorological amateur, let alone an expert, I certainly don’t see 97L developing into Jerry on the most recent run of the GFS model. It may pulse up a bit, especially as it travels north and gets into the lower Gulf of Mexico, but then it appears to head towards southern Florida and merge with a large trough off the eastern seaboard.
That doesn’t mean it can’t cause trouble. The rains it will bring to Northern Caribbean islands and Cuba could cause some flooding, and it could affect Florida later in the coming week.