Tropical systems may brew in Atlantic, East Pacific basins this week

Renee Duff

In the wake of Melissa, zones near Africa and Central America will be the focus of attention for potential tropical development this week.

After forming off the Northeast coast this past Friday morning, Post-Tropical Storm Melissa will continue to weaken as it tracks eastward over the North Atlantic into midweek.

Melissa lost tropical characteristics on Monday, but will still continue to produce gusty winds and locally heavy rain over the ocean.

Melissa will only be of concern to shipping interests over the next few days as it remains well away from land.

However, the storm may approach the Azores with showers on Wednesday.

AccuWeather meteorologists are now turning their attention to areas farther south for tropical development this week.

A tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on Sunday is the first area of interest.

This satellite image shows the Atlantic basin on Sunday morning, Oct. 13, 2019. (NOAA/GOES-EAST)

"There is a chance this system could attempt to become an organized tropical system this week," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

This system will track to the west-northwest toward the Cabo Verde Islands early this week, bringing an uptick in gusty squalls and rough surf.

However, this system is likely to meet its demise by midweek as it encounters strong wind shear to the north of the islands.

Meanwhile, over the southwestern Caribbean, an area of low pressure has formed amid a broad, counter-clockwise wind pattern, known as a gyre.

"This area of low pressure will track into or along the northern coast of Central America early this week," Kottlowski said.

If the system's circulation remains over the warm waters of the Gulf of Honduras for a time, there will be a better chance for it to become an organized tropical system.

Even if an organized tropical system fails to form, drenching showers and thunderstorms are likely over portions of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula into Tuesday.

This disturbance is expected to cross the Yucatan Peninsula and emerge into the Bay of Campeche by midweek. Here, there may be another opportunity for it to organize.

Regardless, drenching and flooding rainfall will be possible in portions of eastern Mexico during the second half of the week. Some of this rain could be drawn northward into the western Gulf Coast.

Hurricane season continues until the end of November, and Kottlowski believes there will be another named system or two over the Atlantic Ocean before the season comes to a close.

The next names on the list for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season are Nestor and Olga.

Forecasters are also keeping an eye on the East Pacific basin this week.

The window will soon close for a disorganized cluster of showers and thunderstorms south of the Baja California peninsula to develop into a tropical depression or storm.

Of greater concern may be another area of disturbed weather located a couple hundred miles west of the coasts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

This satellite image shows clusters of showers and thunderstorms off the west coast of Central America on Sunday morning, Oct. 13, 2019. (NOAA/GOES-EAST)

This feature may become a tropical depression or storm as it parallels the southern coast of Mexico this week.

"This tropical threat may bring the risks of flooding and damaging winds to parts of southern and western Mexico," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister said.

The next names on the list for the 2019 East Pacific hurricane season are Octave and Priscilla.


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