|Visible satellite image from 7:45am EDT.|
This disturbance is far enough south that the bulk of the Saharan Air Layer (mid-level, dry, dusty air that flows from Africa and sometimes all the way across to Cuba, Florida, and Central America) is located to its north. The SAL is currently weak over the Lesser Antilles.
|Depiction of the SAL today... the dustier areas are darker red, while areas not affected by the SAL are blue. The easterly wave of interest is in the lower-middle part of the image. (CIMSS and NOAA)|
An example of a very intense hurricane that began as an easterly wave in late July and became a tropical depression almost exactly where this disturbance is located now is Allen (1980). In the track map below, Hurricane Allen is plotted. The gray circle in the far lower right corner is where the current disturbance is located today. Hurricane Allen became a Category 5 storm three separate times (for a total of 72 hours), peaking with sustained winds of 190mph, and is still the strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic.
|Track and intensity of Hurricane Allen (1980). The current easterly wave of interest is located at the gray circle. (NOAA)|
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