Tropical Storm Don has formed east of the Windward Islands. A small circulation formed within a broad trough Monday afternoon, identified by an Air Force reconnaissance mission. The recon plane found winds of about 45 mph as of the 8pm AST NHC advisory. While the circulation was originally associated with only limited convection, a strong convective burst has formed over the center of the system during the last few hours. Whether this burst is strengthening Don or not will likely be hard to tell until the next recon mission Tuesday morning. Given the small size of Don’s circulation, the storm could easily strengthen or weaken in a short period of time. Environmental conditions ahead of Don are favorable in the short term, with SHIPS diagnostics indicating that shear will remain below 10 kt until Tuesday evening, and Don’s circulation is still isolated from the dry SAL air mass to the north. Thus, it would not be surprising to see some intensification of Don on approach to the Windward Islands on Tuesday, but the official NHC forecast from Monday evening expects little strengthening for now. A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Grenada, and Tropical Storm Watches for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, and St. Lucia. After entering the Caribbean, Don’s small circulation will likely struggle to maintain itself within strong trade winds north of South America, and weakening and eventual dissipation is expected by late Wednesday. However, tropical storm conditions could potentially impact some southern Caribbean islands before that occurs. Please see the latest NHC advisory at hurricanes.gov for the latest watch and warning information.
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