Tropical Storm Dorian has developed, and its intensifying as it nears the Caribbean.
Tropical Storm Dorian (August 26th 2019)
Barbados will be the first to be affected by Dorian, with a direct landfall on the island occuring tonight. A tropical storm warning has been posted for the island. By tomorrow afternoon, Dorian will enter into the Caribbean Sea, but not before a potential landfall on St. Lucia. A hurricane watch has been posted for St. Lucia in addition to a tropical storm warning. Martinique and St. Vincent are under tropical storm warnings and will be affected. However, it is looking likely that Dorian will make its closest approach to Barbados, and St. Lucia.
National Hurricane Center 5-Day Cone for Tropical Storm Dorian (August 26th 2019)
As Dorian moves northwestward through the Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Center predicts that it will intensify into a category 1 hurricane. This is interesting, because many of the weather models do not show much intensification in the next 48 hours. Despite this, the National Hurricane Center continues to refer to their own forecast "conservative." It does make sense for Dorian to intensify into a hurricane, and if it does, it will be a testament to just how important people are in the weather forecasting process.
12z Spaghetti Models (August 26th 2019)
Although intensity with Dorian is up in the air, the models are showing an unusual amount of consistency on track. Normally the spaghetti models are not in as good agreement as they are above. Once Dorian moves out of the Caribbean Sea, it will track through the Bahamas, and then likely move towards the southeastern United States. It is very unclear at this time how strong Dorian could become once north of the Carribbean, and it is largely dependent upon how much land interaction Dorian experiences with Hispaniola.
Hispaniola Elevation Map
Hispaniola is a mountainous country, and it is notorious for disintegrating any tropical cyclone that moves over it. However, models are suggesting that Dorian may be able to stay east of Hispaniola, and will either move over Puerto Rico or could escape through the Mona Passage. Additionally, if Dorian were to make landfall in Hispaniola, it would likely make landfall in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic, which is significantly less mountainous then the western and central parts of the island.
Hispaniola will not be the only inhibiting factor for Dorian's intensification. Dorian has been able to insulate itself from dry air so far, but its possible that dry air begins to affect its intensification.
It appears that the Atlantic is finally getting started this hurricane season. With only two weeks until the statistical peak of hurricane season, theres still lots of time for many more storms to come.