Tropical storm to likely form in Caribbean later this week
MIAMI - A tropical wave is likely to become the Atlantic Basin's next tropical storm as it approaches or crosses the Caribbean Sea later this week.
On the heels of Karl and Lisa, a robust tropical wave is racing through the open waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
The potential for development is low early this week as the wave is tracking too quickly for it to organize into a tropical depression or storm.
However, that will likely change during the middle to latter part of the week.
"As the wave approaches the Windward Islands at midweek, the steering currents and wind shear will decrease," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mike Doll said.
"This will present an opportunity for organization into a tropical depression or perhaps a tropical storm as early as Wednesday," he said.
The next tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin will acquire the name "Matthew."
Strong wind shear can prevent tropical systems from developing or shred apart hurricanes. Wind shear is the change of speed and direction of winds at different layers of the atmosphere.
Regardless of development, AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister anticipates the wave to bring enhanced rainfall to the Lesser Antilles at midweek.
"Conditions will deteriorate across the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday as the fast-moving wave arrives," he said. "The heaviest rainfall is expected across the Windward Islands."
Leister anticipates the downpours to spread to Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire on Thursday.
"While intensity is not certain, there will be enhanced rainfall across the islands with the threat for flash flooding," Leister said.
Gusty winds and rough seas will increase if the wave organizes and strengthens.
Several factors will determine if the wave will strengthen as it impacts the islands and northern coast of South America later this week. Another zone of wind shear and/or interaction with land in Venezuela could make it difficult for the wave to intensify.
The environment could become more conducive for strengthening next weekend and early next week if the wave continues its journey into the western Caribbean.