It's been quiet in the tropics since the first week of July when Tropical Storm Elsa hit northern Florida then tracked up the East Coast. A month later, we are now watching a tropical disturbance, Invest 94-L which is expected to develop into a tropical depression by Tuesday.
If it develops further into a tropical storm (central circulation with winds of 39 to 73 mph), it will be named Fred.
Atmospheric conditions are favorable for development with low wind shear and very warm water in it's path. However, some forecast models keep the system weak, as a tropical depression or low end tropical storm. A reason for this could be the dry air to the north of the circulation that could eventually wrap into it and limit convective development.
High pressure aloft over the western Atlantic will likely steer the circulation to the east-northeast this week, possibly taking a northern turn toward Florida by the weekend.
Here is the latest statement from the National Hurricane Center:
Showers and thunderstorms associated with the area of low pressure located about 100 miles east-northeast of Barbados continue to show signs of organization. However, recent satellite wind data indicates that the system currently lacks a well-defined center. Environmental conditions are expected to remain conducive for additional development, and a tropical depression is likely to form later today or tonight while the low moves west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph. The disturbance is forecast to move through portions of the Lesser Antilles tonight, then move near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Tuesday, and Hispaniola on Wednesday. Tropical storm watches or warnings could be required this afternoon with shorter-than-normal lead times for portions of the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In addition, heavy rains and flooding are likely for the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Interests in those areas should monitor the progress of this system. * Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days...high...80 percent.