Our latest depression has formed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, just slightly north of the equator. We are in the “time slot” now where the Atlantic activity peaks, with the majority of most named cyclones forming in August or September.
Depression 5 will have quite a battle on its hands the next few days with some dry air and wind shear. Coupled with that it is moving extremely fast, little development is expected until early next week.
Today’s charts reveal a slight change in the overall steering flow next week, as an upper high over the central Atlantic retrogrades to the northeast. This will allow a modest northwest turn into the Caribbean Sea and near the Gulf of Mexico around about Wednesday the 8th. At which point, the steering winds also relax and allow the depression to settle in over some very warm waters in the Caribbean.The very latest GFS forecast, which has been actually reliable this season, depicts a moderate tropical storm roaming the northern Gulf of Mexico around Aug 10-12. The GFS latches onto an overall change in the steering pattern mentioned above. To contrast, the ECMWF and the HWRF both keep a general strong west path with the depression and keep that large “heat dome” in place over the southern U.S. — this pattern would deflect tropical weather well south of the States.
As always, with tropical cyclones this far out, it will be IMPOSSIBLE to predict a landfall. Only a general path can be outlined at this time. And, with so many other atmospheric factors to overcome, Depression 5 will have to be watched day-by-day as it fluctuates in strength.