Is this the quiet before a real storm or is what was predicted to be an average tropical season going to fall in the below average category for 2018? Tropical forecasters have thankfully not had an awful lot to do over the past month or so. Part of the reason the season has been so quiet is dust from the desert. Another reason has been lower than expected sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Basin.

It's not like there haven't been opportunities for systems to develop. For example, the National Hurricane Center is currently monitoring a well organized low-pressure system in the north central Atlantic. If that system was in a lower latitude it might be spinning up a lot of trouble. But since it's well north of the Azores and well out in the ocean, the chances of it developing into a tropical threat for the U.S. coast is minimal.

There is a tropical system in the Pacific Ocean that bears watching. Actually, there are four different systems the Hurricane Center is watching in the eastern Pacific. The greatest threat right now is Hurricane Hector. Hector is expected to become a major hurricane within the next 24 to 36 hours.

The path of Hector is going to bring the system just south of the Hawaiian Islands. I can only imagine what a hurricane hitting a volcano would look like. Fortunately, it doesn't appear as if that will actually happen.

There are two other tropical disturbances that are showing signs of strengthening, and a tropical depression, designated as 11-E that could spin up into something stronger over the next few days. Forecasters do give each of these systems a significant chance to grow stronger over the next five days.


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