There’s a 70 percent chance that a tropical disturbance will form within five days, according to a Tropical Weather Outlook issued by the National Hurricane Center early Monday afternoon.
The disturbance, consisting of shower and thunderstorm activity associated with a tropical wave, is located several hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.
The outlook says that while the shower and thunderstorms activity has increased, the system “remains disorganized,” although “environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for gradual development of this disturbance over the next several days while it moves generally westward at 10 to 15 mph.”
In a blog post published Monday, Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters wrote that the disturbance is a more serious threat than last week’s Tropical Depression Two “and has the potential to develop into a strong tropical storm before reaching the Lesser Antilles Islands on Friday or Saturday.”
Masters cited light wind shear, warm ocean temperatures, and a “reasonably moist” atmosphere in the area as reasons for expected strengthening.
But the long range fate of the system remains “highly uncertain,” he 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.
Nevertheless, as of Monday, numerous models runs of the GFS global forecasting model show a tropical disturbance northward off the Eastern Seaboard early next week, tweeted Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ.