Tropical disturbance winding through the Caribbean is approaching Florida and may turn into tropical storm by week’s end
- A tropical disturbance has been twisting through the Caribbean and is on course to reach Florida this week
- The tropical disturbance has the potential to be the fourth tropical depression of 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean
- The disturbance’s strength weakened on Monday, but if current weather persists a tropical storm with 39 mph winds could emerge
- Land terrain in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico could slow it down, but may result in flash floods and mudslides
- The amount of rainfall on the Florida Peninsula will determine its path
A tropical disturbance snaking over the Caribbean is nearing the Florida Peninsula and may transform into a tropical storm during the second half of the week.
The tropical disturbance showed signs of weakening on Monday afternoon, but if it continues to build it could be the fourth tropical depression of 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean.
Accuweather predicts it could reach maximum wind levels of 39 mph if the trend persists.
Meteorologist Brett Rathburn said water in the Caribbean is ‘sufficiently warm’ and could play a factor in tropical development.
A tropical disturbance encroaching the Caribbean islands may reach the Florida Peninsula during the second half of the week
Accuweather predicts the tropical disturbance could potentially reach 39 mph if it continues to strengthen
Before the tropical disturbance reaches Florida’s peninsula, it must get through the collection of islands first.
‘There is some wind shear in the path of the disturbance and its forecast path takes the center just south of Puerto Rico and near Hispaniola at midweek,’ Rathbun said.
The mountainous regions act as a buffer for the tropical disturbance, with mountains in the Dominican Republic reaching as high as 10,200 feet.
The terrain, along with wind shear, may be able to stop the tropical disturbance from organizing into a larger feature.
The rugged topography is known to ‘squeeze out’ large amounts of moisture that result in harsh showers and blustering thunderstorms over the islands.
This heavy rainfall can be useful, but too much water falling too fast can result in dangers like flash floods and mudslides.
The terrain in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico can act as a blockade for the oncoming tropical disturbance
While still uncertain, the tropical disturbance has the potential to curve east of the Southeast United States or head west towards the Gulf of Mexico
Beaches can also be affected by raising sea levels and winds.
If the tropical disturbance does survive the midweek obstacle, it will have the opportunity to develop into a stronger storm.
‘Assuming the system has held together or has organized, wind shear is forecast to increase right near and northeast of Florida late this week and into this weekend,’ Rathbun said.
Depending on the strength of the wind shear, the disturbance could battle on towards Florida or be left adrift into the Atlantic Ocean.
Scenarios on what could occur this weekend vary, with some predicting the disturbance curving east towards the Atlantic and others predicting it may go west towards the Gulf of Mexico.
What is known is that the disturbance will approach the Southeastern states along the mid-Atlantic coast and soak them in thunderstorms.
As August continues, waters in the area will begin to decrease and the majority of tropical waves will come from the west coast of Africa.