Tropical Storm Erin Forms, Caribbean Disturbance Weakens

As we enter the peak of hurricane season (August 15 actually marks that day), it seems fitting that there are two disturbances in the Atlantic. Fortunately, neither seems to be a significant threat to anyone at this point.

The first is the one closest to us. A disturbance over the extreme Western Caribbean, which the National Hurricane Center gave a 70 percent chance of reaching tropical storm strength by the end of the weekend, is decidedly less organized today as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula. Many of the forecast models now dissipate the disturbance altogether.

At this point, it would be a shock to see it developing into anything beyond a tropical storm if it does survive its encounter with the mountainous Yucatan. Once it does re-emerge in the Gulf, it is possible the upper Texas coast could see some rainfall from the system by the end of the weekend or early next week, but chances are fairly low.

The second area of concern is Tropical Storm Erin, the fifth disturbance of the hurricane season. Erin is WAY out in the Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands and moving west-northwest. It has become better organized today and is expected to strengthen at least somewhat over the next 48 hours. Unfortunately for Erin, cooler water and significantly drier air are in its path. And it appears that even if it survives its encounter with the less-than-hospitable (for hurricanes, anyway) weather -- and most of the computer models think it will die a quiet death over the water -- it is likely to become a "fish storm," meaning it should pose no threat to any land masses.

Another tropical wave is forecast to come off the African continent after Erin and it appears to have slightly better chances of survival. During the busiest part of the hurricane season, it's a good idea to pay attention because things can change rapidly.

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