Published July 07, 2013
The Atlantic Basin has been void of an organized tropical depression or storm since mid-June. That could change this week.
The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center is keeping a close eye on a vigorous tropical wave located roughly in between Africa and the Windward Islands.
The window is open for the wave to organize into a tropical depression as it tracks toward, then across the northern Windward and southern Leeward islands through Tuesday.
Only the fast forward motion of the wave is working against its ability to strengthen. If the wave can overcome this and become a tropical depression, it should then continue to intensify into a tropical storm.
The next tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin would acquire the name "Chantal."
Nearly 2.5 weeks have passed since a tropical storm roamed the Atlantic Basin, when Tropical Storm Barry crossed from the northwestern Caribbean to the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.
The threat for flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas will accompany the wave through the Windward and Leeward islands on Tuesday regardless of whether it is a tropical depression or storm.
The potential for winds causing tree and minor structural damage, as well as power outages, will increase as the wave intensifies.
The window for possible strengthening should close at midweek as the wave encounters stronger wind shear (disruptive winds above the surface). That window will slam shut if the wave also tracks close to or over the mountainous islands of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
Even though the mountainous terrain of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola should deter the wave from strengthening, these islands may still be faced with the danger of flooding rain and mudslides at midweek.
Later in the week, it is possible that the wave enhances the shower and thunderstorm activity across the Florida Peninsula.
The thumbnail of this story is a satellite image of the tropical wave, courtesy of NOAA.