State College, Pa. -- 2 August 2012 -- AccuWeather.com reports Tropical Depression five formed over the Atlantic Ocean at approximately 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.
The depression could strengthen into Tropical Storm Ernesto by early Friday near the Windward Islands, according to AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Andrew Mussoline.
If formed, Ernesto will produce winds in excess of 40 mph, a storm surge of 1 to 3 feet and heavy, flooding rains.
"Strong wind shear, an inhibitor of tropical development, will limit the potential for rapid strengthening over the next couple of days," Mussoline said. "However, the wind shear is expected to weaken during the weekend, where the opportunity for further strengthening is possible."
Satellite imagery Thursday indicated Ernesto was fairly disorganized, indicating little strengthening will occur through the next 12 to 24 hours.
According to Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "Tropical systems that fail to organize into a tropical storm or hurricane prior to entering the Caribbean, often fail organize until reaching the western end of the sea."
This may be due to the impact of the large land mass of South America to the south and towering mountains over the Greater Antilles to the north.
The first part of next week the system could be anywhere in the vicinity from Belize to the western tip of Cuba.
Looking at impacts to the United States, the system, potentially a tropical storm or greater by then, could move into southern parts of the Gulf of Mexico during the latter part of next week.
Here's hoping that tropical storm forms in the gulf and continues north to give the Hoosier state some rain!