This is what they are saying about it know. " A developing tropical wave near the coast of Africa now has a high (70-90%) chance of developing within the next 2-5 days -- most likely by Thu/Fri. ...If this system holds together, it can be near or just north of the SSS Islands (St. Maarten-Saba-St. Eustatius) by early next week. ...We will continue to monitor this system."
AS of today at 8AM EST " Showers and thunderstorms associated with a low pressure area located a few hundred miles south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands continue to show signs of organization. Environmental conditions are expected to remain conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form within the next couple of days. This system is expected to move westward to west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic during the next several days. * Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent."
Scattered moderate to isolated strong convection is noted on the northern semicircle, especially from 10N to 15N and between 24W and 31W. Environmental conditions are expected to remain conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form within the next couple of days
Neil-- If you're saying the 2 PM advisory was worse than the previous ones, I am not sure it was?? I'm not very tuned in to these things, to understand nuances, but I'm pretty sure the previous advisory also said a depression was likely to form soon, especially since the chance of development was listed at like 80% yesterday.
Carol - I look at it differently. Hurricanes are formed when a bunch of conditions are met but it feeds off the latent energy in the ocean water. Low pressure storm systems feed off that same heat energy, so my viewpoint is that every storm removes some of the potential energy a hurricane can use when it forms - reducing the severity. So I hope for some big-but-not-too-big storm systems in the area to keep a major hurricane from forming in the windwards or leewards.
We were on a cruise ship in September 1995, at the exact same time that Luis was destroying St. Maarten/St. Martin and many other islands. We had been scheduled to cruise to the Eastern Caribbean, but based on forecasts, Celebrity decided that we would cruise to the Western Caribbean instead. We were very disappointed not to be able to visit St. Maarten, but we did not cancel, as many people did, while at the port. We will always remember how dead flat CALM the ocean was that week in the western Caribbean. It was almost spooky. Even since then, we have never seen the ocean so absolutely dead flat calm..
What I wrote is basically correct but does have a couple of flaws/caveats. The energy potential in the top layer of tropical waters is vast. Think of how red and hot the stovetop gets to heat up a tiny bit water to boiling and then imagine how much energy a hurricane consumes when it lowers the water temperature by a degree or two in thousands of square miles of water in it's path! A storm uses up that energy too - but it is smaller so converts less latent into kinetic energy. It also doesn't churn up the warm top water layer as much. Nevertheless, it reduces the "food" a hurricane would otherwise use.
Off the Government SXM page. "* Weather Update ** Showers and thunderstorms continue to become better organized in association with an area of low pressure located about 650 miles east-southeast of St. Maarten. A tropical depression or tropical storm is expected to form later today or tonight while the system moves toward the west-northwest at about 15 mph. This system is expected to pass near, or north of St. Maarten on Monday and Tuesday. The public is therefore urged to closely monitor the progress of this system. The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten will continue to monitor the system and provide special advisories if it becomes necessary."