Disturbed weather in Atlantic grows into Tropical Storm Don, but has bleak future

The National Hurricane Center announced the development of Tropical Storm Don at 5 p.m. Monday. It may briefly stir up some trouble in the Lesser Antilles, but a swift demise is predicted thereafter.

Positioned about 350 miles east-southeast of Barbados, Don is a low-end tropical storm, with peak wind speeds of 45 mph. But through Tuesday, the Hurricane Center says, conditions could allow for some strengthening.

While modest intensification is the official forecast, Don’s intensity in the short term is hard to predict. Because it is so “compact,” the Hurricane Center says, “significant changes in intensity — both up and down — become more likely.”

“It cannot be stressed enough that confidence in the intensity forecast is very low,” the Hurricane Center says.

As Don roars toward the Lesser Antilles, traveling at almost 20 mph, the Hurricane Center has posted a tropical storm warning for Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and a tropical storm watch for Barbados and St. Lucia.

Don could unleash a brief period of tropical-storm-force winds and put down two to four inches of rain on these islands Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Once Don crosses these islands and enters the Caribbean, it is not expected to survive for long. Hostile wind shear is expected to shred apart its vulnerable core. “Dissipation is forecast within 72 hours,” the Hurricane Center says.

But before the storm degenerates, Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters cautions, it “could potentially affect the ABC Islands [Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao] and make landfall in northwestern Venezuela late in the week.”

Don, the fourth named storm of the 2017 hurricane season, arrived more than a month ahead of average.

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