Tropical Depression Five forms
August 24, 2006
The Air Force reconnaisance plane confirmed that the tropical wave crossing the Windward Islands has a closed circulation. Because of that the National Hurricane Center will start advisories on Tropical Depression Five at 5 PM EDT (or Tropical Storm Ernesto if the plane finds tropical storm force winds).
As was the case yesterday, the first area to be concerned about the developing storm probably will be Jamaica. The saving grace for the island should be the strong upper-level westerlies that dominate the most of the eastern Caribbean that would keep intensification at a minimum in the short term.
The picture becomes more worrisome after that for two reasons. First, the upper level winds are more favorable in the western Carribean, and second, the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential increase significantly is higher in the area west of Jamaica, an area where hurricanes typically flourish in this time of year (think Ivan of 2005, Gilbert 1988, etc).
Refer to the National Hurricane Center for the advisories when they come out and Dr Masters for further commentary on the future of this developing storm.
– Following up on a story I linked to yesterday, the people who took refuge on Johnston Island are fine and their ship weathered Hurricane Ioke, which has since reintensified in the Central Pacific. Check out the Central Pacific Hurricane Center if you are interested in the details of the storm.