Highlight: The likely evolution of “Alex”.
Fig. 1: Morning satellite view of the North Atlantic basin.
Discussion: An area of low pressure is situated over far Southeast Mexico and is expected to consolidate into a more organized center in about 48 hours off the north coast of Belize. At that time, ECMWF indicates this system is likely a tropical depression. This system drifts north-northeastward on the back side of the North Atlantic subtropical ridge late this week and crosses water sufficient to allow intensification to a tropical storm. The season’s first storm name is Alex. ECMWF takes Alex into southwest Florida as a moderate-strength tropical storm early Saturday. Alex continues to drift northeast and according to ECMWF could reach minimal hurricane strength off the Southeast U.S. Coast late weekend and then turn-out-to-sea. Obviously. A low confidence forecast right now although the large-scale climate (east-shifting Madden Julian oscillation) is supportive of development. Florida should take not of a potential very windy and wet weekend ahead.