The GOES-13 satellite passed over a low pressure area designated as "System 97L" earlier today and captured a visible image of the low in the eastern Caribbean Sea. System 97L appears in a good place for development into a tropical depression in the next day or two.
The National Hurricane Center currently gives the low pressure area known as System 97L an "80 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression in the next 48 hours." The low pressure area is located just north of the Virgin Islands near 19.0 North latitude and 65.3 West longitude. The visible image from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-13 showed a tight center of circulation with clouds, showers and thunderstorms extending mostly north, east and south of the center.
The visible image also shows another area of low pressure in the central Atlantic Ocean, trailing to the east of System 97L. Forecasters are giving this low a "near zero percent" chance of developing in the next 48 hours. That low is 950 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and is a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms.
System 97L however, has a much greater chance because upper level winds are waning and are forecast to continue weakening. That will enable System 97L to develop further. System 97L is moving northwestward near 5 to 10 mph, and is expected to be another big rainmaker in the region. Locally heavy rainfall from System 97L is possible over the next couple of days in the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
GOES-13 is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and images are created by NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Md.
Explore further: Professor argues Earth's mantle affects long-term sea-level rise estimates