We're Watching the Western Caribbean for Tropical Development and Heavy Rainfall

Chris Dolce
Published: October 11, 2018

We're watching yet another area for tropical development in the western Caribbean Sea following Hurricane Michael's destructive landfall in Florida.

Here's a look at what's next in the Atlantic Basin.

(MICHAEL COVERAGE: Hurricane Central)

Western Caribbean Area to Watch

One of October's typical hot spots for tropical development is the western Caribbean Sea. Hurricane Michael and last year's Hurricane Nate are a couple of recent examples of October storms that formed in this region of the Atlantic Basin.

(MORE: October's Typical Hurricane Threat)

Meteorologists look for signs of lowering atmospheric pressure and increased storminess in the western Caribbean as precursors for tropical development. This is sometimes associated with a so-called Central American Gyre (CAG), a broad area of low pressure that can extend from the western Caribbean to Central America.

Various computer model forecast guidance suggests there will be an uptick in stormy weather and lowering pressure in the western Caribbean this weekend and into early next week.

It's unlikely that a tropical depression or tropical storm would form from this area of low pressure, but it is expected to be a big rainmaker. If this becomes a named storm, it would be Oscar.

For now, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says there is a medium chance of tropical development in the western Caribbean Sea during the next five days. Environmental conditions are forecast to support gradual development, but land interaction with Central America could limit its ability to organize by Monday or Tuesday, the NHC added.

Watching Western Caribbean

Initial indications are that if the low develops, it would be steered westward by high pressure to its north toward Central America or Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

This system is unlikely to follow Michael to the north and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Check back with weather.com for the latest on the tropics through the weekend.

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