The season’s tenth named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Jerry, formed in the central Atlantic Monday morning. However, a weaker disturbance over the Caribbean is more worth Floridian’s attention. Keeping with trend for much of the 2013 Hurricane Season, though, development of this feature would likely be slow to occur or might not even happen at all. Nonetheless, the system’s close proximity to land and possible movement into the Gulf of Mexico increases the chances that it could impact portions of the United States or Florida over the weekend or early next week.
Invest 97-L is identified by the National Hurricane Center as having a “medium chance” for development by Friday, especially after it pulls closer to the Gulf of Mexico. The system is currently located a few hundred miles south of Jamaica and is drifting slowly to the northwest. Thunderstorms have been noted on satellite imagery for several hours, but they are disorganized and only on the eastern side of the disturbance. Hurricane hunters are tasked with an optional flight Tuesday, but only if 97-L becomes better organized.
The forecast for Invest 97-L is a bit ambiguous in terms of whether or not a tropical storm will form, but a little more certain in terms of tracking the tropical moisture associated with it. An approaching front is projected by many long range forecast models to dive into the Southeast US this weekend, likely pulling much of Invest 97-L’s moisture north. When this might impact Florida and *if* it would exhibit tropical cyclone characteristics are still a bit premature to prognosticate. At the very least, the chances for heavier episodes of rain will be increasing by the end of the week over central and south Florida, followed by possibly some heavier rain for north Florida over the weekend or early next week.
Tropical Storm Jerry developed over the central Atlantic early Monday, but poses no threat to land or the United States. The season’s tenth named storm was located 1200 miles southeast of Bermuda Monday and has been dancing around for a few days as a tropical depression. It is now forecast to make a clockwise loop and move further out to sea over the coming days, possibly strengthening a bit more but remaining below hurricane status.