|Formation||July 17, 1997|
|Dissipation||July 19, 1997|
|Highest winds||35 mph|
|Lowest pressure||1008 mbar|
|Areas affected||Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Florida|
Tropical Depression Five was the fifth tropical depression of the inactive 1997 Atlantic hurricane season. It formed from a tropical wave that emerged from the African coast on July 11. The wave became a depression on July 17. Recon observations before the wave dissipated on July 19 suggested that the wave may have briefly became a tropical storm.
No damage or deaths are associated with this weak tropical depression.
On July 11, a tropical wave exited the west coast of Africa and began heading westward across the Atlantic Ocean, finally beginning to show consistent evidence of a cloud system center. Dvorak classifications began on July 16. Deep convection associated with the wave became more concentrated on July 17, as observed by satellite imagery, and it is estimated that Tropical Depression Five developed at 0600 on July 17, while located 475 miles east of Barbados. After forming, the depression moved west-northwest at 10 to 15 knots, and the first reconnaissance aircraft that investigated the system from a flight level of near 1500 feet around 2100 UTC on July 17 found peak winds of 36 knots located both to the north and south of the center of circulation. Although satellite estimates never exceeded 30 knots from the SAB, TAFB, or AFGWC, the fact that 36 knot sustained winds that were measued by reconnaissance aircraft at a low level to the south of the circulation center suggests that the depression could've briefly became a tropical storm earlier in its lifetime.
The depression soon lost its organization, as confirmed by satellite imagery, and an aircraft reconnaissance flight on the afternoon of July 18 had difficulty in finding the depression's center of circulation. Satellite imagery at 0600 UTC on July 18 declared the system too weak to classify, and the depression at this point is considered to have degenerated into a tropical wave. However, the former depression continued to show some signs of organization based on satellite imagery, and another reconnaissance aircraft flight into the system at 1200 UTC on July 19 found a very weak circulation center in the northeastern Carribean Sea. The wave's convection moved across portions of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and the Florida Straits. The depression lost its identity over the eastern Gulf of Mexico on July 23.
Impact, if any, from the depression, is unknown.