Above is the latest visible satellite image showing a strong tropical disturbance over central portions of the tropical Atlantic. Below is a wider view so as to give you a better perspective as to its location (the system is circled in yellow):
The system is drifting slowly toward the West and is likely to become Tropical Storm Ernesto within the next 24-36 hours.
The latest computer forecast model composite shows a general West to West/Northwesterly track as the consensus at this time:
There is some question as to whether or not the system would survive a trip all the way to Central America or the Yucatan Peninsula (or the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico, for that matter), but this would likely be 7-10 days out so we still have plenty of time to monitor the situation between now and then.
Now that we've reached the first of August, the image below shows you the origin points of most tropical cyclones during the month. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean that a system cannot form in another region, this is just meant to give you an idea as to the most likely region(s) for development as we head into this month:
For more information from the Original Weather Blog, including "live blogging" during rapidly changing weather events, please be sure to follow me on facebook and/or twitter: