SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Hurricane Gert, already the strongest hurricane of the 2017 season so far, continues to strengthen. Thankfully, it moves farther and farther away from the east U.S. coast, not threatening land. Meanwhile, we are watching several tropical waves in the Atlantic.
The WLOX First Alert Weather Team is tracking three tropical waves, each with the potential to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm by this weekend.
All three tropical waves, located hundreds of miles east of the Caribbean Sea, remain generally disorganized. But, the National Hurricane Center says that they could become better organized by this weekend or next week.
The main focus is on the two tropical waves out front, labeled as 'Invest 91L' and 'Invest 92L.' The NHC is investigating these particular tropical waves closely for development.
"For the most part, conditions will be favorable for 91L and 92L to develop into tropical systems," said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams on Wednesday. "The water is warm enough, there's no terrain in the way. And wind shear isn't too unfavorable. The main hurdle, at least initially, could be dry air that is slowing development."
"It's just a matter of time," Williams continued. "For each wave, once the circulation completely closes off and the center becomes better defined, it'll develop. Unless conditions change, I think we'll see the development chances continue to increase by this weekend."
There's also a third tropical wave that moved offshore of west Africa's coast on Wednesday. While, it has not been designated as an "Invest" by the NHC, they are still tracking it for possible development.
"With three tropical waves, I think it's likely we'll see at least one of them develop," said Williams. "Even though there is plenty of dry air ahead of 91L, it could pave a safe path through that dry air for the tropical waves behind it. So, the dry air could become less and less of an issue the more waves that eat away at it."
The Gulf Coast region remains free from tropical threat, based on Wednesday's forecast. But, we will continue to monitor the latest developments in the tropics.
Be sure to double check your hurricane plan. It was important to have your hurricane plan ready on June 1st at the beginning of hurricane season. So, it should already be in place in case of any threat.