The 2013 hurricane season continues to leave weather experts scratching their heads as they try to figure out how their predictions of an extremely active have been so far off the mark. While the expected storms haven't materialized, there are still signs of life in the Caribbean and Atlantic as the season starts to wind down.
An area of disturbed weather the National Hurricane Center is calling Invest 97L is hovering over the central Caribbean. the National Hurricane Center in their Monday afternoon update is giving Invest a 30 percent chance of growing into a tropical cyclone during the next 5 days. In his Monday afternoon blog entry Dr. Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground says drier than normal air is once again putting a damper on a weather system's development. According to Masters while the system may not develop any further, it is going to be a weather maker for much of the region. "None of the reliable computer forecast models develop 97L into a tropical depression over the next five days. These models (the GFS, ECMWF, and UKMET) predict a northwesterly track for 97L over the next three days, bringing the center into the Yucatan Channel between Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba by Thursday. On this path, 97L will bring heavy rains of 2 - 4" to Jamaica and Southwest Haiti on Monday, to the Cayman Islands and Central and Eastern Cuba on Tuesday and Wednesday, and to Western Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday and Thursday.
It's worth noting that there's nothing in Dr. Master's projections to cause any immediate concern for anyone in the United States during the next week or so. That said, it's always worth remembering that if a storm wanders into the Gulf of Mexico it can't go far without at least threatening some of the U.S. coastline.
The National Hurricane Center says that a storm in the Atlantic has strengthened enough to be labeled Tropical Storm Jerry, but the official discussion by NHC forecaster Richard Pasch has Jerry moving in a fairly tight loop over the next few days before dissipating without threatening any land mass.