Many times during tropical weather coverage you may hear us use the term "invest". What exactly does that mean?
An invest is an area that meteorologists and the National Hurricane Center are monitoring for potential tropical development. Think of it is a "precursor" to a possible depression or tropical storm. It is an area of interest that has the potential to become a full blown tropical cyclone. A system becomes a tropical depression or storm when it has been determined, either by satellite, surface observations or through weather reconnaissance flights that there is a low level circulation that is closed off. This means the circulation creates a complete circle with south winds on the east side, west winds on the north side, north winds on the west side and lastly west winds on the south side, creating a complete circulation.
It is important to note that areas of disturbed weather in the tropics are not designated an invest based on their likelihood to develop into a tropical depression or storm. Invests are numbered from 90 to 99 as they designated. Atlantic storms end with an L, such as Invest 97L, while eastern Pacific storms end with an E, western Pacific W, central Pacific C and Southern Hemisphere S.
FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY