It has been nearly a month since Tropical Storm Debby churned in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, bringing heavy and beneficial rains to parts of Florida. But since the end of June, the overall weather pattern across the Atlantic Tropical Basin has been considerably quiet.
While AccuWeather.com meteorologists were correct in assuming the tropics would be quiet throughout the weekend, they are monitoring a strong tropical disturbance for possible development early this week.
According to Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "The system is a bit farther south and is the strongest of the disturbances thus far this season originating from Africa."
Because the storm is located farther south than other disturbances which have originated off the coast of Africa this season, it has been slightly removed from the large area of dry and dusty air which is in place across the Atlantic from the African coast to the eastern Caribbean. This air has limited the development of previous waves.
According to Kottlowski, "The dust acts to limit thunderstorm development. Persistent thunderstorms help create lower pressure which then can lead to tropical development."
This system interacted with the dusty and dry air late last week which prohibited development, but that may change heading early this week.
The wave will track across the middle of the Lesser Antilles today and into the northern Caribbean by the middle of the week. This will bring a period of showers and gusty winds to portions of the Caribbean islands early this week.
Beyond the early part of the week, there remains a bit of uncertainty with the track of the storm.
There are two different scenarios after the storm moves into the eastern Caribbean, it will either track due west into the central and western Caribbean or to the northwest.
"A more northward track would favor development while a due west track would probably keep the system disorganized," Kottlowski added.
Keep checking back with the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center through early next week with the latest thinking on the development of this wave.
The midwestern United States will be in the crosshairs of potent thunderstorms into Saturday night.
Much of the eastern United States will continue to swelter with above-average temperatures into the end of the month.
Conditions will deteriorate across Hawaii this weekend as Darby delivers locally heavy rain and rough surf. But the tropical storm will provide long-term benefits.
Those looking for a break from the heat across the central United States will be in luck as a slow cooldown is in store starting this weekend.
Lightning killed a teenager on Friday, the second teen lightning death in three days. With thunderstorms continuing to rattle several parts of the nation, more lives will be at risk.
The more than 100,000 people expected to attend the annual Glorious Goodwood festival next week will want to keep a brolly handy.
Mid-Atlantic Ocean (1788)
(22nd-24th) George Washington Hurricane; After causing ship disasters off SW Bermuda, the storm moved NW over Tidewater, NC and VA to pass right over George Washington's Mt. Vernon plantation. On July 24th, George Washington wrote in his diary: "About noon the wind suddenly shifted from NE to SW and blew the remaining part of the day violently from that quarter. The tide this time rose near higher than it was ever known to do, driving boats, etc. into fields, where no tide had ever been heard of before, and most, it is apprehended, having done infinite damage on their wharves at Alexandria, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc. At home all day."
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.