A tropical system that moved off the coast of Africa last weekend is likely to become the next tropical storm of the 2013 Atlantic season Wednesday.
A slightly north of west path is forecast with the system through this weekend into early next week, most likely taking the feature close to or just north of the Lesser Antilles.
Conditions in the Leeward Islands this weekend will depend upon the exact path and strength of the system. There is a possibility of gusty, drenching squalls developing in the area late Saturday and continuing into Sunday, if the system were to track close by.
According to Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, "The vast area of dry air surrounding the system to start the week has diminished and would tend to favor strengthening during the middle of the week."
The system may already be a tropical storm Wednesday morning. Enhanced satellite images during the morning hours indicated a concentrated area of thunderstorms with some rotation.
Official investigation by the National Hurricane Center will continue. Sustained winds must reach 39 mph for the system to be classified as a minimal tropical storm.
The next name on the list of Atlantic tropical cyclones for 2013 is Dorian.
"Later this week, the system will move into a zone of cooler waters, which may cause the system to plateau or even weaken," Kottlowski stated.
The path of the system next week will depend on the strength of the tropical system itself and other weather systems surrounding it.
"It is too early to say with confidence for next week where the system will track and what the strength will be," Kottlowski added.
It could be scooped up by the back side of high pressure near Bermuda over the Atlantic Ocean. In this scenario, the feature could then travel along the East Coast of the United States.
Another scenario allows the system to miss the "right turn lane" and continue west-northwestward brushing northern shores of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba.