Showers and thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave located over the far southeastern Caribbean Sea have changed little in organization since this morning. Environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form within the next couple of days. The disturbance is forecast to move west-northwestward across the eastern Caribbean Sea during the next day or two, and be over the central Caribbean Sea this weekend. Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds are likely to affect the Windward Islands tonight, and northern Venezuela, northeastern Colombia, and the ABC island chain during the next couple of days. An Air Force recon aircraft is currently surveying the system, and data from this mission will be assimilated into tonight’s forecast model.

Right now, we have very good confidence over the path of this storm for the next 48 hours, then somewhat confident as the storms turns north between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba. There are much more variable and uncertainties as the storm arrives in the Gulf. As far as strength, this storm will likely be a Hurricane upon entrance into the Gulf, however, there are many questions on its final landfall. There is currently a 500+ mile gap between the two bookend models (or outliers). We can assure you that claiming a direct hit at a certain point this far out would be misleading at best. I do believe by this weekend we will have a better grasp on strength, movement, and steering mechanism to make a much more educated forecast. For now, don’t go canceling any beach plans.

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