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.
Repeating and slow-moving storms will raise the risk of flash flooding and damaging winds over the northern and central High Plains into Thursday night.
As July draws to a close, a storm system swinging up from the Deep South will bring downpours to the northeastern U.S. and break the back of an extended heat wave.
Highs will run between 10 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit above average across much of the interior western United States into the upcoming weekend.
The heat felt across the United Kingdom during the middle of July has faded and is not expected to return through at least the first week of August.
The Formula One season continues this weekend, and disruptive showers and thunderstorms may impact the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim.
Another postponement may be in store at Pocono Raceway as widespread showers and thunderstorms threaten Pennsylvania on Sunday.
New England (1949)
Heat wave in New England; Greenville, RI hit 102 degrees.
Marquette, Il (1988)
99 degrees for a date record.
Hurricane Bertha formed 450 miles east of Jacksonville, FL. Maximum sustained winds of 75 mph with gusts to 90 mph.