The “98L” disturbance could cause tropical problems for the Gulf of Mexico, Florida next week

FOX Forecast Center meteorologists are closely monitoring a tropical disturbance near South America, which has a high probability of developing into a stronger system in the coming days.

FOX Weather has named this system Disturbance 1. The National Hurricane Center has designated the disturbance as Invest 98L. An investment is just a nickname used by the NHC to identify a meteorological area that is under investigation for possible development in at least one tropical depression within the next few days.


Possibility of development for Invest 98L.
(FOX Weather)

Hurricane hunters plan to begin reconnaissance missions on Invest 98L on Wednesday. The data collected from these flights is critical in helping to refine tropical weather forecasts.

If it becomes a named storm, which means at least one tropical storm, it would probably be named Hermine, the next name on this year’s list for the Atlantic.

Here’s everything you need to know about Invest 98L.

Where is Invest 98L now?

As of Wednesday morning, Invest 98L was located near the north coast of South America, just northeast of Venezuela.

It was also a couple of hundred miles east of the southeastern Caribbean islands, which will experience some storms from the disturbance.


Invest 98L current position.
(FOX Weather)

Where is Invest 98L going?

In the short term, Invest 98L is headed for the Caribbean and will bring bad weather to the Southeast Caribbean islands until at least Thursday. This means that places like Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia are likely to see heavy rain, gusts of wind and rough seas.

From there, there is great confidence that the disturbance will move to the islands of Venezuela and near the so-called ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao until Friday. Expect stormy weather in these locations.

The forecast is for the system to enter the open waters of the Caribbean this weekend.

Next week is when forecasting models want to bring the system closer to the continental United States, where both the Gulf of Mexico region and the Florida peninsula have a chance of being hit. There are also some models showing the storm in the Bahamas next week.


Prediction of model traces.
(FOX Weather)

It’s too early to say for sure where Invest 98L will head next week. Several factors will play a role in determining the final destination of the system, including the speed at which it develops. Anyone with interests along the Gulf Coast or in Florida should pay close attention to forecasts.

What’s working against Invest 98L?

Invest 98L is facing a rather tough environment for many developments in the coming days thanks to Category 4 Hurricane Fiona moving towards Bermuda.

The higher altitude winds from Fiona are creating a lot of wind shear, winds that change direction and speed at various altitudes, preventing the increase in storms associated with the disturbance. This should continue at least until Friday.


What is helping Invest 98L’s development?

Beyond Friday, Invest 98L is expected to move to the Caribbean Sea and an environment much more suitable for tropical systems development.

Wind shear is expected to be much lower in this region this weekend.

Water temperatures in this part of the ocean are around the 1980s, which is a couple of degrees above average, providing ample fuel for development.

Sea surface temperatures.
(FOX Weather)

Bottom line

Invest 98L is expected to move to the Caribbean this weekend, where it is expected to strengthen. It could become a tropical depression or a tropical storm in the next few days. If it becomes a tropical storm or a hurricane, it would probably be called Hermine. It is too early to say for sure how strong the system could become.


Long-term forecast models suggest Invest 98L could pose a threat to areas along the Gulf Coast and the Florida Peninsula in the United States late next week. It is too early to say for sure where it will go next week. Anyone living in those areas should pay close attention to the forecasts.

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