The depression quickly showed signs of organization with the development of banding features around its blossoming convection. Due to a favorable upper level environment, forecasters predicted the depression to intensify to a 70 mph (110 km/h) tropical storm after making landfall on Haiti and eastern Cuba. Upper-level outflow remained well-defined, though convection waned near the center early on August 22. The depression appeared to continue organizing, with a well-defined cloud band to its north and east. However, strong southwesterly wind shear unexpectedly became established over the system, and the depression degenerated into a tropical wave late on August 22 to the south of the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic. The system retained a well-defined cloud pattern with a vigorous mid-level circulation, and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center indicated regeneration could have occurred at any time. The wave axis moved over the Dominican Republic early on August 23, and became disorganized over the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola. There existed the potential for redevelopment as it moved into a potentially more favorable area, though the National Hurricane Center ceased monitoring the system on August 25 when redevelopment appeared unlikely.
Before developing into Tropical Depression Nine, the precursor tropical wave dropped moderate to heavy rainfall across the Lesser Antilles, including 1.96 inches (50 mm) at Hewanorra International Airport in Saint Lucia. There, a peak wind gust of 33 mph (53 km/h) was reported. In Barbados, the system produced a 65 mph (105 km/h) wind gust at the top of a hotel, and heavy rainfall that resulted in flooding throughout the island. Several roads were covered with floodwaters, and many people caught in the deluge pulled off the road to wait for a break in the downpour. However, the precipitation was beneficial, as it was the first rainfall after two weeks of hot and dry conditions. Heavy rainfall was also reported in Martinique, which resulted in flooding and mudslides. The flooding downed several trees and closed roads in isolated locations. The flooding also damaged several houses, with some people losing everything.
The depression caused moderate rainfall in Puerto Rico, where two to three inches (50 to 75 mm) of precipitation were recorded. The flooding from the rainfall entered ten houses. The deluge flooded streets, leaving some impassable. A mudslide was reported in the eastern portion of the island. A river in northeastern Puerto Rico surpassed its banks from flooding, though within hours it returned to normal levels. Damage in Puerto Rico totaled to $20,000 (2003 USD, $23,000 2008 USD).
The depression dropped over 1 inch (25 mm) of precipitation across much of the Dominican Republic; Santo Domingo reported a peak total of 3.9 in (98 mm). The rainfall led to flooding, primarily east and west of the capital city. Several roads were flooded, obstructing traffic. The flooding collapsed a sports center and a house, injuring two people inside. Further inland, 160 people had to be evacuated when more than 100 houses were flooded. Crop damage was also reported. In Pedernales, gusty winds uprooted trees, several of which fell on power lines which caused power outages in the town. Five rivers overflowed their banks, as well. The rainfall was welcome in the country, as conditions were dry in the preceding months. Flooding was also reported in eastern Jamaica, though damage there, if any, is unknown.