The unofficial end to summer is right around the corner, but there is reason to watch the tropics for some activity near or during the Labor Day weekend. Aside from the risk for weak development over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, there are also two different tropical waves that will be coming off from the western African coast this week, both of which may spin up into a tropical cyclone.

A tropical wave currently located over the Main Development Region, or MDR, will travel through the Lesser Antilles midweek, eventually moving toward the Bahamas and southwestern Atlantic Ocean by the end of this week. However, the chance for any tropical cyclone formation up to this point is very low due to moderate wind shear through much of the region. Despite this, showers will be more widespread and wind gusts may be a bit more feisty.

This wave will then likely move over Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the holiday weekend. None of the operational model guidance indicates that a tropical depression, storm, or hurricane will form, but some of the ensemble guidance does hint at the potential for at least some development. The morning suite of the ensemble members currently indicates as much as a 40 percent chance of at least tropical depression genesis at this time. Those chances may go either way — up or down — but it’s way too early to know how this entity will act at this time.

The main takeaway is that residents along the Gulf or Southeast US coast should monitor the forecast and expect unsettled weather this weekend into early-next week.

Now farther away from home is the western African coast, where these tropical waves typically form. There are two waves that are worth watching for potential development this week. The first one has already moved off the coast and is currently located south of Cape Verde. The chance for development of this wave is very low at this time given the volatile environment (moderate wind shear).

ECMWF model infrared satellite forecast for early-next week

It’s the second tropical wave that has a higher chance for formation — at least as of now. This wave will move off the African coastline midweek and may organize into at least a weak area of low pressure, which is what the European model suggests, by this weekend over the open waters of the Atlantic. Where this entity will track is unknown at this time, but this wave definitely features the highest chance for development. There is even a third tropical wave behind this second one, which will move over the MDR of the Atlantic Ocean early-next week.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on any tropical activity here at WeatherOptics.


Jackson is Head of Content and Social Media at WeatherOptics. He is currently a student at the University of Miami, studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism. Dill produces forecast articles for the website and helps to manage the content schedule. He has also led the growth of WeatherOptics’ social media accounts, working to keep them aligned with the company’s evolving vision.

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