While an area in the Eastern Pacific has yielded the first tropical cyclone of the 2012 season, the Caribbean could show some signs of life later this month.
A broad area of low pressure is expected to form very slowly in the area around Central America and the western Caribbean.
Folks living in the region around Central America to Cuba, Jamaica, The Bahamas and South Florida should not be overly concerned at this point.
Chances are this system will never become strong or well organized.
However, it could spread a swath of downpours over the region. Even a weak, disorganized system can produce clusters of heavy, gusty thunderstorms, which would be a problem for pleasure boaters, beach goers and fishing interests.
According to Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "This is likely to end up like about a dozen or so systems during the season that do not reach tropical storm status."
"The system will not have any tropical waves coming in from the east to give it a jump start, but a non-tropical feature arriving from the northwest next week may just help create a broad area of low pressure or gyre," Kottlowski added.
We are in a neutral phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). This is the fluctuation of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
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When the tropical Pacific surface water is warmer than average, it is considered an El Nino, When it is cooler than average it is considered La Nina.
During an El Nino, (warm water phase) air tends to rise over the tropical Pacific Ocean, supporting the formation of tropical cyclones. Correspondingly, air tends to sink over the Atlantic, working against the formation of tropical cyclones.
It tends to work just the opposite during a La Nina phase of the ENSO.
"Since we are in a neutral phase, we should not expect any substantial interference or gain at this point of the season by the ENSO," Kottlowski said.
The start of the Atlantic hurricane season is not until June 1, but tropical storms have formed as early as January and February with hurricanes as early as March.
This story was first published on Friday, May 11, 2012 and has been updated.
Severe thunderstorms return near Little Rock, threatening areas from Oklahoma City to Dallas to close out Wednesday evening.
Severe thunderstorms are set to return to the corridor from Little Rock to Oklahoma City to Dallas to close out Wednesday.
Tropical Depression Two has lost its battle to become the next Atlantic tropical storm, but it will still increase shower activity across the Caribbean to end the week.
Warm and humid air in place over much of the Northeast at midweek will contribute to the risk of drenching, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
Canton, IL (1975)
A tornado ripped through a 3-block section of downtown, killing 2 people, injuring 75 and creating $5 million damage. A 15-foot wooden plank was driven through an auto engine block, splitting the front of the car in two. The woman driving was not injured. National Guardsmen were called in to prevent looting.
Columbus, OH (1979)
This is the first year in 101 years of record keeping at Columbus in which the temperature has not reached 90 degrees by July 23rd.
Hurricane Delores, west of Baja California, causes high surf along the Southern California coast.