July 31, 2012

Tropical System Begins to Bring Rain to Caribbean

A strong tropical wave has begun to bring the most significant and widespread rain in months to some of the northern Caribbean islands this week. The rainfall will be very beneficial for residents for drinking water and agricultural considerations. However, there is also the negative impact to tourists in the area to consider and the slight chance, at a very isolated level, the rainfall could be intense enough to cause flash and urban flooding.

The system will continue to move along a general, slightly curved west to northwest track over the next five days or so. The United States and British Virgin islands, along with Puerto Rico can expect the needy, yet disruptive downpours to be around into Wednesday. The pulse of moisture associated with the system is forecast to reach Florida this weekend.

Although a strong feature last week right out of the box from Africa, through this past weekend it has not shown enough organization thus far to classify it as a tropical depression or storm. There have been gusts to 32 mph in squalls in Le Raizet early Monday morning. While modest development with the system is possible this week, rapid intensification does not appear to be likely for the next several days.

"If the system curves more to the north late this week and beyond, there is a little better chance for organization/development," Kottlowski said. As long as the feature does not substantially organize, the zone of showers and thunderstorms will tend to be spread out over a broad area.

By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist – AccuWeather.com

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