The system currently labeled "Invest 97L" by the National Hurrricane Center was about 150 miles southeast of Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon. In his Wednesday afternoon update NHC forecaster Eric Blake noted that the system has become slightly better organized. He also notes that 97L could merge with another area of disturbed weather that's northeast of the Leeward Islands with conditions becoming favorable for development. "This system has a medium chance (50 percent) of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours as it moves northwestward at about 10 miles an hour and a high chance (60 percent) of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 5 days. Locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected to spread over portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Hispaniola during the next day or two."
Even if Invest 97L strengthens enough to be known as Tropical Storm Gabrielle, it may not survive encounters with Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Even if it does come across those big islands as a tropical system, the latest computer model runs it taking a sharp northeasterly turn long before it ever poses a threat to the U.S.
Another area of interest to forecasters is an area of disturbed weather over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Forecasters give it a 20 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone, but it's projected westerly course would bring it ashore in southern Mexico with no impact on the U.S.
Fans and /or investors in the Weather Channel may find the video accompanying this article of interest. While the corporate maneuverings may not directly what we're seeing on the Weather Channel, it is interesting that what started out as an obscure specialty outlet has morphed into a multi-platform big business.