Diminshing threat to Gulf of Mexico, but a storm developing

Anyone of a nervous disposition and with a compelling interest in storms landing in the United States would have been well-advised to have avoided following the chattering modellers over the past 24 hours.

Deprived of a decent storm west of Florida this season, disturbance nineteen has been billed as everything from a weak wave to a category five storm, and landing anywhere between Yucatan and Yorktown Models have now become a forecast, which brings a degree of stability and sanity.

Disturbance nineteen is now centred around 200 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and headed slightly north of west at 10 knots. This has become a little better organised and is likely to be moving up the scale through tropical depression to a weak tropical storm in the next few hours.

I think the 'slightly north of west' track is the news that Gulf of Mexico oil lease watchers will be pleased to hear, as this is the first indication of the disturbance turning early towards Cuba and thereafter toward the Bahamas, Florida, or the eastern Gulf of Mexico if it turns to the north-nor'west. Overall, the chances of the system remaining to the east of the Gulf of Mexico are increasing. Conditions are good though, and a hurricane near Florida or the Bahamas in the middle of next week is not out of the question.

Disturbance twenty one is now about a day and a half west of the Cape Verde Islands. Still there, but only just. If this does break free of sand, it has the energy to follow nineteen to the west. Stand by Lesser Antilles.