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.
A storm ejecting out of the Rockies will spread rain across the Canadian Prairies, raising the risk of flooding on Wednesday.
Rain and thunderstorms spreading to the East on Tuesday will put the brakes on the warmup following Easter weekend.
While remaining on a localized level through Tuesday, severe weather will ramp up across the Plains on Wednesday.
Although spring may be in full swing, more than one-third of the Great Lakes remains covered in ice.
A potent area of low pressure moving into the West will dictate the weather from Washington to Texas heading into the new week.
After taking a tumble Easter Sunday, temperatures will quickly rebound in Boston for Patriots' Day.
Eastern New England (1991)
Deepening coastal storm: central pressure near 29.00", 55 mph winds and 3.32" of rain at Boston. Portland, ME, had 1.54" of rain in three hours. Two homes in Manchester, NH, partially unroofed. Wind gust to 128 mph on Mt. Washington. Final rain total for Portland was 4.21".
Greensboro, NC (1992)
Rainfall of 3.87".
Afton, VA (1992)
Dense fog caused a 50 vehicle pile up; two people were killed, and dozens were injured.