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.
Springlike warmth will pour from the Plains to the East over the next few days before another winter storm unfolds at midweek.
The same system responsible for bringing rain to the Northwest over the weekend will deliver snow to the Rockies and Plains for the start of this week.
Although spring is on the horizon, the detrimental impacts of this year's harsh winter still loom as threats for roof collapses continue.
Despite a springlike start to the week, winter and substantial snow will make a comeback across the Midwest and Northeast at midweek.
Philadelphia will continue to experience a taste of spring before colder air and a winter storm arrive at midweek.
New York City will continue to experience a taste of spring before winter makes a comeback at midweek.
Ohio Valley/ Mid-Atlantic (1990)
Record warmth... Location New Record Old Record Evansville, IN 82 74/1988 Roanoke, VA 77 74/1974
Hilo, HI (1991)
A total of 9.39 inches of rain from March 9th through the tenth.
Burlington, NC (1951)
(10th-14th) 16.0" of snow, greatest single storm total in city's history.