Fox News Weather Center

Western Caribbean bears watching for tropical storm formation during late October


While atmospheric conditions have now become too hostile for tropical storm formation over much of the Atlantic basin, conditions over the western Caribbean may harbor development toward the end of October.

The combination of dry air, dust and strong westerly and/or southerly winds aloft will inhibit tropical storm formation over much of the Atlantic in the coming days.

However, over the far southwestern end of the Atlantic basin, or the western Caribbean Sea some of the ingredients necessary to spawn a tropical depression or storm may come together late this week and during the last weekend of October.

Static Breeding Areas


In the western Caribbean, waters remain very warm and winds aloft are rather light, compared to much of the balance of the Atlantic basin, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.

The area is one of several zones where tropical storms typically spin up during late October and November.

"A tropical disturbance, currently over the south-central Atlantic is scheduled to reach the western Caribbean by the end of the week," Pydynowski said. "This may help spin up a tropical depression or storm."

In addition to these conditions, a non-tropical feature may join in late next week.

The leading edge of much cooler and less humid air, now crossing the southern United States, will push across the Gulf of Mexico this week and into the western Caribbean late in the week.

Sometimes a temperature and humidity boundary, such as this, can also help to spin up a tropical storm.

Interests from Central America and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to Cuba, the Florida Peninsula, the Bahamas, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico should monitor the tropical weather for the potential for increasing winds, seas and gusty thunderstorms in the coming days.

Even in lieu of a strong tropical storm or hurricane, torrential downpours produced by the disturbance and temperature boundary could unleash flooding rainfall and mudslides.

Dry air and strong winds aloft are likely to prevent such a tropical storm from moving toward the central and western Gulf coast of the United States.

However, this same press of dry air may carry the threat of heavy rain and flooding toward the islands in the north-central Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Static AP Puerto Rico Barren Landscape

Trees stand barren in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria along a road in Montones Cuatro in the Piedrazul sector of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)


Much of the foliage has been stripped in these areas due to strikes from devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria in recent months. The denuded landscape increases the speed of runoff and risk of mudslides during more routine rain events.