AccuWeather and NHC: Forecasters were also monitoring a second area of concern, a disturbance moving westward over the Caribbean Sea.
“This system is not as well organized as the feature over the central Altantic and is currently moving too fast for quick development,” Kottlowski stated.
An area of low pressure located about 1300 miles east of the Lesser Antilles is producing a concentrated area of showers and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions are conducive for development, and a tropical depression is expected to form within the next couple of days while the system moves west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph across the central and western portions of the tropical Atlantic. Interests in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progres of this system.
- Formation chance through 48 hours…high…80 percent.
- Formation chance through 5 days…high…90 percent.
As the system approaches Central America, it may slow down enough over warm waters and lower wind shear to develop later this week.
The next name of the list for tropical storms for the basin in 2020 after Laura is Marco. The current early-season record holder for “M-named” storm is Maria from the notorious 2005 hurricane season that brought the blockbuster storms Emily, Katrina and Wilma.
Should the Caribbean feature remain poorly organized as it reaches the western part of the sea, it may be more likely to be drawn on a more west-northwest path through Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, rather than a path that takes the storm between the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba.
The dip in the jet stream that is forecast to extend into the Gulf of Mexico would produce increasing wind shear and act as a deterrent against rapid strengthening. However, the jet stream dip could also tend to pull the system and its torrential downpours and gusty thunderstorms farther to the north and perhaps into the Gulf Coast of the U.S. Should the jet stream dip retreat northward even slightly, it might allow the Caribbean system to plow more to the west and perhaps into Texas or northeastern Mexico later this weekend to early next week.
This part of the southern U.S. will be subject to repeating showers and thunderstorms over the balance of this week and this weekend. So, a saturated ground would be more prone to flooding, should the Caribbean system, the Atlantic system or both come calling.
As a result of both tropical threats, all interests from the Caribbean to the Bahamas, Honduras, Belize, Mexico and the southern and eastern U.S. should monitor tropical activity currently over the Atlantic basin.
The lid could soon come off the Atlantic basin with the potential for multiple named systems spinning at the same time, including multiple threats to lives and property at the same time from the Caribbean to North America.
Tropical storms are named for most letters of the alphabet, with the exception of Q, U, X, Y and Z. The infamous 2005 Atlantic hurricane season holds the record for the greatest number of named storms at 28 and still holds the record for early-season formation records for the “K-storm,” which was Katrina on Aug. 24, as well as the letters M through T, V and W. After W, Greek letters are used. 2005 was the only year to use Greek letters.
AccuWeather meteorologists are expecting a hyperactive year for tropical storms and hurricanes — enough that Greek letters may once again be needed. Due to 2020’s record pace and upcoming conditions expected in the basin, AccuWeather meteorologists upped their forecast for the number of tropical storms in late July, with up to 24 now predicted and up to 11 hurricanes projected for the season.