Development window closing as disturbance heads for Central America

Invest 97L expected to bring the potential for flooding rains from Nicaragua northward to Belize this weekend

Despite upper-level winds turning more conducive to development since yesterday, so far the disturbance known as 97L has been unable to muster up much in the way of organized storminess.

The low-pressure area still has another day or two over water to organize before moving inland – likely along the coast of Nicaragua – on Saturday.

Regardless of development, the upshot for Central America will be extremely heavy rain through the weekend. Forecast models continue to advertise the possibility of rainfall totals topping 15 to 20 inches, stretching up into parts of Guatemala and Belize in the days ahead. These totals will likely result in flash flooding and the potential for dangerous mudslides across the mountainous terrain of Central America beginning on Friday.

For us in South Florida, this won’t pose any threat down the road. Models have fallen into line with staunch high pressure north of the system, forcing 97L or what forms from it southwestward toward the eastern Pacific into early next week.

Model tracks for Invest 97L indicate the low-pressure area will move inland across Central America and could reemerge on the eastern Pacific side of Central America by early next week. Credit: Clark Evans/University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Atlantic quieting down in the waning weeks of the hurricane season

By this point in the hurricane season, typically 95% of Atlantic hurricane activity is behind us. Beyond next week, long-range models show wind shear really ramping up through the tropical Atlantic, which should largely shut down the Atlantic for the season – welcome news for all of us ready to enjoy the more pleasant and peaceful weather of South Florida’s dry season.

Wind shear forecast for middle next week showing very hostile conditions throughout the tropical Atlantic, which should keep tropical activity to a minimum in the remaining weeks of the hurricane season. Credit:

About the Author:

Michael Lowry is Local 10's Hurricane Specialist and Storm Surge Expert.