• The long-slumbering Atlantic Basin is finally showing signs of waking up.
  • Multiple areas are being monitored for possible development.
  • One is in the Caribbean Sea, the others are much farther east.
  • It’s not clear yet whether any of these will eventually pose a threat to the U.S.

The Atlantic hurricane season is awakening with multiple areas of possible tropical development that could eventually pose a threat into the Labor Day holiday weekend.

It’s been almost two months since we’ve had a tropical storm, and it’s been one of the quietest starts to hurricane season in decades. But we’re heading into the peak of hurricane season and, right on cue, activity is percolating again.

Here’s what you need to know about each of these areas we’re watching, and some barriers that might hamper development.

Caribbean Sea

  • When it could develop: Early or middle part of the week ahead
  • Where it could head and when: Central America, Yucatan Peninsula around midweek
  • After that: Assuming it develops at all, it could emerge into the western Gulf of Mexico Friday into Labor Day weekend.

This tropical wave won’t do much in the next few days but could get its act together in the week ahead.

For now, few computer forecast models are suggesting strong development, but it’s worth monitoring given the typical supply of deep, warm water in its path.

image

Possible NHC Development Area

(The possible area(s) of tropical development according to the latest National Hurricane Center outlook are shown by polygons, color-coded by the chance of development over the next five days. An “X” indicates the location of a current disturbance.)

Central Atlantic

  • When it could develop: Middle part of the week ahead
  • Where it could head and when: Possibly the Lesser Antilles by Friday
  • After that: Assuming it develops at all, uncertain threat for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hispaniola, Cuba and the Bahamas Labor Day weekend.

There are clusters of showers and thunderstorms about halfway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles right now.

Computer forecast models suggest this area could develop and head slowly west-northwest toward the Leeward or Windward Islands by late in the week ahead. It is far too soon to tell if this may eventually pose a threat to the mainland U.S. the week of Labor Day.

Eastern Atlantic

  • When it could develop: Middle part of the week ahead
  • Where it could head and when: Should remain over eastern Atlantic much of the week ahead into Labor Day weekend.

Another tropical wave could emerge off western Africa in the next day or so.

This one may bring some showers and squalls to the Cabo Verde Islands around mid-week, but then should remain over the open waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean through Labor Day weekend.

image

Possible NHC Development Area(s)

(The possible area(s) of tropical development according to the latest National Hurricane Center outlook are shown by polygons, color-coded by the chance of development over the next five days. An “X” indicates the location of a current disturbance.)

Barriers To Development

Despite nearing the heart of hurricane season, there are two roadblocks that could hinder the development of one or all of these areas of interest.

The first roadblock is wind shear. Wind shear rips apart systems trying to organize, as well as those already formed.

Computer forecast models suggest some wind shear may affect both the Caribbean Sea and areas near the Lesser Antilles and central Atlantic Ocean. It remains unclear if that shear may be enough to limit each system.

image

Wind Shear, Satellite, NHC Development Chance

(Areas of clouds are shown in white. Areas of strong wind shear, the difference in wind speed and direction with height, are shown in purple. High wind shear is hostile to mature tropical cyclones and those trying to develop. Areas of possible development according to the latest National Hurricane Center outlook, are shown as earlier.)

The second barrier is dry air, which is one factor that has contributed to a quiet August so far.

As the satellite image below shows, it’s still in place over parts of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean near and east of the Lesser Antilles.

This dry air is likely to keep a lid on Caribbean Sea development for the next few days and could also throw a monkey wrench into development in the central and eastern Atlantic Ocean.

image

Water Vapor Satellite, NHC Development Chance

(Areas of dry air are shown by orange and red in the satellite image. More moist air is shown by the brighter white, purple, blue and green in that image. Areas of possible development according to the latest National Hurricane Center outlook, are shown as earlier.)

For now, there’s nothing to be overly concerned about.

Check back with us at weather.com for updates, as forecasts can quickly change in these peak months of the hurricane season.

However, it’s a good time to make sure you have a plan in place in case of a hurricane. Information about hurricane preparedness can be found here.

By the way, Danielle, Earl and Fiona are the next three names in the 2022 list of tropical storms and hurricanes.

More from weather.com:

12 Things You May Not Know About Your Hurricane Forecast

Latest Updated Hurricane Season Outlook

7 Things Florida Newcomers Should Know About Hurricane Season

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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