Slide 9 of 29
Deep organized convection over Lake Maracaibo is one of the best indicators of a tropical wave propagating across Northern South America. However, be careful not to confuse nocturnal land breeze convection over Lake Maracaibo with a tropical wave.
Over Panama, the prevailing low level wind flow during most of the year has a NNE component. This is due to the ITCZ anchoring low over the Gulf of Panama. After a tropical wave moves through the isthmus, the flow over Howard AFB and Tocumen/Torrijos Airport will change from NNE to SSE. The focus of the convection will then shift northward into the SE Caribbean-Costa Rica and Nicaragua as the ITCZ migrates north. However, due to the orographical effects of the Continental Divide, afternoon convection could still develop over the isthmus.