Tropical weather forecasters and storm-weary Louisiana residents are keeping a watchful eye on a tropical wave in the Atlantic Ocean just off the African coast this morning. While it's not unusual for a tropical weather system to form in that part of the ocean the projected forecast for the system certainly isn't exactly typical for this early in the season.

Seasoned tropical weather forecasters know that tropical systems that form in that part of the ocean don't usually do so until August. The Cape Verde Season as it's often called runs from August through October. So to have a tropical entity forming in that part of the ocean at this time of year is a little outside what is considered to be normal.

nhc.noaa.gov
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The National Hurricane Center issued its first advisory on the potential tropical trouble spot yesterday. At that time indications were that the system would have only a 20% probability of spinning up into a tropical cyclone. That forecast has changed and now hurricane experts believe the system now has a 50% probability of becoming a tropical cyclone as it moves westward across the Atlantic.

Tropical Track Model Forecasts are really not that accurate when extended over a long time frame. So, if you're wondering if the system will make it into the Gulf of Mexico or affect the northern Gulf Coast it's uncertain at this time. But the short-term runs of some of the models do suggest the system will make its way westward reaching the Leeward Islands by midweek next week.

The long-range extrapolations of those models do suggest that the system will be pinned down in the lower latitudes by that same high-pressure system that has been bringing all the heat to Louisiana these past few weeks.

Meanwhile, sea surface temperatures along the storm system's projected path are certainly warm enough to support strengthening and should a spinning tropical cyclone make its way into the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico we can tell you that the hot water is already in place to fuel any cyclone that wants to tap into it.

That's why we keep such a close eye on these systems even if their thousands of miles and weeks away. The bottom line is this. We know it's out there and you need to know it's out there. There's no reason to make any storm-related moves right now, nor should there be for at least a week and a half but you know, it wouldn't be a bad idea to refresh your hurricane kit and make sure your generator will crank.

And don't forget the bug spray or else you'll need these.

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