Disturbance in middle Atlantic nearing Tropical Depression status

     The 5-day experimental outlook issued by the National Hurricane Center, indicating the potential track of the disturbance.

    The 5-day experimental outlook issued by the National Hurricane Center, indicating the potential track of the disturbance.

    A disturbance in the middle Atlantic Ocean continues to strengthen, forecasters say. 

    There is a 70 percent chance that a tropical disturbance will form within two days, according to a Tropical Weather Outlook issued by the National Hurricane Center early Monday afternoon. 

    As of Tuesday morning, the low pressure system, consisting of showers and thunderstorms, is located about 1600 miles east of the southern Windward Islands, said Dr. Richard Pasch, a Senior Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center, in the outlook. 

    “This system could develop into a tropical depression later today or tomorrow while it moves westward or west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph,” Pasch said. 

    In a blog post published Tuesday, Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters wrote that while the area of disturbed weather showed improved organization Tuesday morning, it is “struggling with high wind shear today.”

    “Water vapor satellite loops and the Saharan Air Layer analysis showed that 93L had more dry air to contend with than on Monday, with some tendrils of the dry Saharan Air Layer to the north encroaching into the circulation. Ocean temperatures have cooled since Monday, and are now marginal for development, about 27°C,” Masters wrote. 

    Dry air currently to the north of the disturbance may interfere with development later in the week, and wind shear may also disrupt formation, according to Masters, who noted that forecasting models differ with respect to ultimate strengthening. 

    By early next week, two major global forecasting models have the system taking more of a northwesterly track, according to Masters. 

    “This raises the odds that the strong trough of low pressure over the Eastern U.S. will be able to recurve 93L out to sea without the storm hitting the mainland U.S. coast,” he wrote.

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