A TROPICAL system that moved off the coast of Africa last weekend has become the fourth tropical storm of the 2013 Atlantic season.
A slightly north of west path is forecast with Dorian through this weekend into early next week, most likely taking the feature close to or just north of the Lesser Antilles, meteorologists at AccuWeather said today.
Conditions in the Leeward Islands this weekend will depend upon the exact path and strength of the tropical storm.
There is a possibility of gusty, drenching squalls developing in the area late Saturday and continuing into Sunday, if the system were to track close by.
Dan Kottlowski, from AccuWeather, said: “The vast area of dry air surrounding the system to start the week has diminished and would tend to favor strengthening during the middle of the week.”
Enhanced satellite today indicated a concentrated area of thunderstorms with some rotation.
At 10.30am, winds were estimated to be sustained at 50 mph near the center of Dorian. Sustained winds must reach 74 mph for the system to be classified as a hurricane.
“Later this week, Dorian will move into a zone of cooler waters, which may cause the system to plateau or even weaken,” said Kottlowski.
The path of Dorian next week will depend on the strength of the tropical system itself and other weather systems surrounding it.
Dorian is moving swiftly along to the west-northwest at around 20 mph.
“It is too early to say with confidence for next week where Dorian will track and what the strength will be,” Kottlowski added.
AccuWeather meteorologists believe it could be scooped up by the back side of high pressure near Bermuda over the Atlantic Ocean.
In this scenario, the feature could then travel along the East Coast of the United States.
Another scenario allows Dorian to miss the "right turn lane" and continue west-northwestward brushing northern shores of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba.