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.
SEE ALSO :
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.
A tropical threat from the Atlantic on the United States and Caribbean islands may increase into next week.
As temperatures rise through the weekend in the South, so will the risk for heat-related dangers.
United States residents may pay higher heating costs this fall as colder air is expected to grip the Rockies and Plains at times and some quick-hitting chilly shots may impact the Northeast.
Rescue efforts are underway in Hiroshima, Japan, after several landslides buried people and caused severe damage on Wednesday morning, local time.
Several rounds of thunderstorms are on tap for the Minneapolis area over the next few days.
Monsoonal moisture from the tropics slammed the Phoenix area and other parts of the Southwest with heavy rainfall, causing flooding in the region.
West Virginia (1980)
Third consecutive day of heavy rains and flooding. Webster Springs had 3.65 inches and then 8.5 inches of rain in last 3 days has fallen there. Roads in central WV were closed by high water and mud slides. Near Ripley, north of Charleston, numerous houses, trailers and a store were washed away. The people of Allensfork were evacuated. At Spencer, as much as 4 inches of rain fell and Charleston had 60-mph winds.
Fayetteville, NC (1983)
110 degrees, all-time high for the state.
Pueblo, CO (1984)
State fair was closed during vicious hailstorm. Nine people were hurt, one seriously. Damage totalled $40 million, and 500 light bulbs were broken by the hail.