Tropical Depression Five Forms; Forecast to Reach Lesser Antilles Tuesday

weather.com meteorologists
Published: August 24, 2019

Tropical Depression Five has formed in the central Atlantic Ocean, and is forecast to reach the Lesser Antilles as a tropical storm by Tuesday.

The depression is located several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands, moving steadily west at 10 to 15 mph.


Current Storm Status

The small low-pressure center was detected Friday with a satellite-borne instrument called a scatterometer.

Just enough thunderstorms near the center prompted the National Hurricane Center to upgrade what was previous called Invest 99L to Tropical Depression Five Saturday morning.

On its predicted path, 99L would approach the Lesser Antilles by Tuesday, though exactly where the center tracks remains uncertain. There are no watches or warnings in effect, yet.


Projected Path

Sea surface temperatures are warm ahead of the system, and upper-level winds currently shearing the system are expected to relax. These factors favor intensification.

However, the mid-level atmosphere is moderately dry, and that may keep a brake on any rapid strengthening. If the storm can develop an inner core of moisture and keep it walled off from the dry air, more sustained intensification would be possible. Smaller systems such as this are notorious for strengthening and weakening faster than forecast.

It’s too soon to know if it will pose any threat farther west or northwest toward the Greater Antilles and/or the United States.

Check back with us at weather.com for the latest on this system.

Prime Time and a Prime Location

This system is located in the heart of the deep Atlantic tropics, also known as the Main Development Region. Tropical storms and hurricanes are most common in this region from late July into September as tropical waves move off Africa and into the Atlantic.

Such tropical waves emerging off the west coast of Africa are often referred to as Cabo Verde systems because many of them pass near the Cabo Verde Islands.

These are the locations where tropical storms developed in the time frame of Aug. 21-31 during the years 1851-2015.

On average, the peak of hurricane season occurs in early September, according to the NHC.

Tropical storms and hurricanes are still possible all the way to the official end of the season (Nov. 30), and sometimes even beyond that point.


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