Yesterday's new Depression continued to get better organized, and despite the moderate easterly wind shear, has strengthened into the season's 4th named storm, Dean. Convection has been deep and persistent over the center, though still slightly displaced to the west. At 15Z today, TS Dean was located at 11.7N 39.4W (about 2100km east of the Lesser Antilles) and heading due west at a brisk 20kts. Satellite-estimated intensity is 35kts with 1004mb MSLP.
The forecast is seemingly easy over the next several days: keep moving W-WNW and intensify. The latest forecast models indicate a significant trough forming off the US east coast, allowing Dean to nudge northward over the weekend, perhaps over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as a major hurricane. Dean could also pose a threat to the mainland US late next week. I should note that the NHC forecast track is a northern outlier compared to computer model forecast tracks... meaning that they are subjectively putting a lot of confidence on that trough being very influential.
Elsewhere, the disturbance I mentioned in the southeast Gulf of Mexico is still getting its act together, and is drifting northwest toward the US/Mexico border. It's near the northwest tip of the Yucatan Peninsula with a 1007mb Low. It doesn't seem too likely now that it will be a major threat, but certainly must be watched very closely. It could become a TS within the next 24-36 hours and make landfall as TS Erin.
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