The system has now crossed over the Leeward Islands into the Caribbean Sea, and it continues to move westward, likely bringing winds and rains to Puerto Rico today. The National Hurricane Center continues to predict a 70 percent chance that this system develops into a tropical depression or storm within five days.
And after that? In the post Matt pointed toward two scenarios for what happens to 97L if it makes it into the Gulf of Mexico by around next Friday, or so. The first is that a fairly strong ridge over the southern United States keeps the tropical system to the south of Texas, confined to the Bay of Campeche. This solution was favored by the European model. The other possibility was that this ridge would shift east in about a week, allowing 97L to follow a more northwesterly track toward Texas. However the GFS model which had shown this weakness, appears to be trending toward a stronger ridge.
Models begin to align?
The image below shows the ensemble forecast from the GFS model this morning (06z run) which essentially means the model is run a number of different times, with slight different initial conditions. You can see that the majority of solutions now keep the storm well to the south of Texas.