A tropical wave is likely to become the Atlantic Basin's next tropical storm as it approaches or crosses the Caribbean Sea later this week and potentially pose eventual threats to North America.
On the heels of Karl and Lisa, a robust tropical wave is racing through the open waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
The wave is tracking too far to the south to track into the open waters of the central Atlantic Ocean. Instead, the wave is heading toward the Caribbean Sea.
The potential for development is low early this week as the wave is tracking too quickly for it to organize into a tropical depression or storm.
However, that should change during the middle to latter part of the week.
"As the wave approaches the Windward Islands at midweek, the steering currents and wind shear [another obstacle the wave is battling early this week] will decrease," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mike Doll said.
"This will present an opportunity for organization into a tropical depression or perhaps a tropical storm as early as Wednesday."
The next tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin will acquire the name "Matthew".
The changing of the speed and direction of winds at different layers of the atmosphere is wind shear. Strong wind shear can prevent tropical systems from developing or shred apart hurricanes.
Regardless of development, AccuWeather meteorologist Eric Leister anticipates the wave to bring enhanced rainfall to the Lesser Antilles at midweek.
"Continues will deteriorate across the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday as the fast-moving wave arrives," he said. "The heaviest rainfall is expected across the Windward Islands."
Leister then anticipates the downpours to spread to the ABC Islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire on Thursday.
"While intensity is not certain, there will be enhanced rainfall across the islands with the threat for flash flooding," Leister said.
Gusty winds and seas will increase if the wave organizes and strengthens.
Whether the wave will strengthen as it impacts the ABC Islands and potentially the northern coast of South America Thursday into Friday will depend on if another zone of wind shear lingers over the eastern Caribbean Sea and/or if the wave has too much land interaction with Venezuela.
If either of the above occur, the wave will likely struggle to intensify.
The environment could become more conducive for strengthening next weekend and early next week if the wave continues its journey into the western Caribbean.
AccuWeather meteorologists will be closely monitoring the wave to determine whether the western Caribbean islands, Central America and Gulf Coast of the United States will face impacts during the first full week of October.