Tropical threat diminishes but islands still brace for ‘bad’ weather

Bridgetown, Barbados, July 31, 2006 – Oil rigs off mayaro in Trinidad and Tobago have evacuated and meteorological offices in the Eastern Caribbean are forecasting thunderstorms today as a vigiorous tropical wave approahces.

The immediate threat of the system becoming a tropical depression has diminished but the National Hurricane Centre said that the potential still exists and so a US air force reconnaissance aircraft has been scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon.

Several computer models were forecasting the development of this wave shortly after it exited Africa last week. A low pressure centre had developed on the wave but has now dissipated after the wave ran into an high with Saharan dust in the atmosphere which tends to suppress rainfall.

The hurricane centre said early this morning that a new middle to upper level low centre is beginning to form near 15 degrees north and 53 degrees west. This centre would have to work its way down to the surface for any meaningful developent to take place and by this afternoon this is what the hurricane hunter aircraft will be investigating.

Even though no tropical depression is expected to form, the wave is expected to bring instability into the atmosphere and possible thunderstorms to the Windward Islands later today which will spread into the Leeward Islands later tonight and tomorrow morning.

At 5 am the wave was located 390 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands travelling west-northwest at 15 miles per hour. It stretches from 18 degrees north to 6 degrees north.

Meantime, the Central Caribbean tropical wave which has been bringing much rain and thundershowers to the northeastern Caribbean shows no signs of further organising this morning as the upper level conditions are no longer conducive and are forecast to remain that way for the immediate future. The wave however is expected to bring heavy rains to portions of Cuba and Hispaniola during the next two days.

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