Developing storm headed for Windward Islands and the Caribbean

Tuesday 27th September 2016

Disturbance thirty six is now centred about 500 miles east-nor'east of Tobago and hurrying west at 20 knots. This is very likely to be upgraded to a tropical depression or tropical storm later today. Fast moving systems rarely develop as rapidly as this has, and are often unpredictable in forecast tracks. As it passes over the Windward Islands tomorrow, tropical storm force winds and squalls will affect the islands that are closest to the path of the system, with the heaviest squalls located on the northern side of the system's centre.

Thereafter, the storm will move into the Caribbean where conditions are favourable for this to become a hurricane. The ridge we referred to yesterday seems to have weakened a little and as a consequence, most modellers have this turning after passing the Netherlands Antilles as a hurricane on Thursday night, to pass over or close to Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba by early next week. There are still some commentators who are not convinced by this and are pencilling in a track to the west before turning north early next week and may become a threat to the eastern Gulf of Mexico or the eastern seaboard next week. Personally, I would err on the side of caution and go for the later turn.

Where there seems to be no doubt is with intensity and this has already been given a peak hurricane intensity rating of 26 out of a possible 50 points (15 size / 11 intensity). This would be a large windfield.

Disturbance thirty seven has formed along the Mexican Gulf coast causing squalls and rough seas inshore. Wind shear will push this inland over the next couple of days bringing enhanced showers and thunderstorms to Mexico.

The next tropical disturbance will move off the west coast of Africa within the next couple of days.

Stand by for storm conditions over the Windward Islands.