UPDATE (5 p.m. Tuesday): An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicates the tropical wave 97-L does not have a closed surface circulation, but the system is producing winds to near tropical storm force.
A tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form tonight or Wednesday.
The Center warns that interests in the Windward and southern Leeward Islands, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, and along the northern coast of South America should monitor the progress of this disturbance.
UPDATE (8:45 a.m. Tuesday): The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Invest 97-L could form into a tropical depression or tropical storm later today or tonight. There is a 90 percent chance of cyclone formation in the next 48 hours. The Center warns that interests in the eastern and central Caribbean should monitor the progress of this disturbance.
The next tropical storm in the Atlantic will be named Matthew.
ORIGINAL (Monday): A tropical wave situated 1,100 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands Monday is gathering strength as it moves toward the Caribbean.
Forecasters with the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami give the system a 90 percent chance of developing into a named storm as it makes its way into the southern Caribbean.
Forecasters say the system will move over the Windward Islands and the southern Lesser Antilles, including Aruba and Bonaire, by Wednesday, and give the system a 70 percent chance of developing into a hurricane by then.
“Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form around mid-week while the low moves westward to west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph,” the Hurricane Center forecasts.
Allan Ebanks, with Cayman’s National Weather Service, said local forecasters are tracking the system but current models show the storm will turn toward the north-northwest as it moves through the Caribbean, likely impacting Haiti and the Dominican Republic this weekend.
Mr. Ebanks said a cold front moving through central U.S. will help move the system to the north and weaken the storm. He said he does not expect the system to impact Cayman.
For the week ahead, Mr. Ebanks said, Cayman will likely see light winds and afternoon showers with highs around 90 and lows of 80.