25 August 2011
The tropical wave off Africa has intensified and is looking very healthy this evening. It even looks like an anticyclone has developed aloft over the wave, and we may have tropical storm Jose soon (if not already). Water vapor imagery from the European weather satellite also shows little dry air in the region, although there is some dry air to the north of the system (not enough to seriously inhibit development I think).
ASCAT data (which measures near surface winds from space) is indicating a developed low pressure system and seems to show the highest convection is to the west of the surface low. While this would indicate some wind shear on the system, a deeper layer of ever warmer water is ahead of the system, so development seems likely. The steering currents look pretty strong and the wave (Jose?) will likely move westward for at least a couple of days. One high resolution model (HWRF) is indicating a turn to the NW, but that is iffy and it still could approach the Caribbean in 7-8 days.
UPDATE Thursday PM: Tropical Depression Ten has formed, but the guidance is now indicating a turn to the NW fairly soon and that will end any threat to N. America. It will likely become a tropical storm soon.