While obstacles lie in its path, an area of low pressure off the Southeast coast will attempt to end the void of organized tropical systems in the Atlantic Basin this week.
The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center is keeping a close eye on an area of low pressure tracking south-southwestward toward the Florida Peninsula.
The low is currently fighting dry air from the north and wind shear, strong winds at high speeds over the middle layers of the atmosphere.
“These winds can prevent tropical systems from forming, limit intensification or lead to their demise,” stated AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
The low is expected to reach or make its closest approach to the eastern coast of Florida later on Monday or Tuesday, leading to enhanced thunderstorm activity across the central and South Florida Peninsula these two days regardless of development.
The resultant locally flooding downpours and gusty thunderstorms could foil vacation plans in Orlando.
The low being monitored for possible tropical development was captured in this satellite image midday Sunday EDT.
At midweek, there are indications that the low will turn back to the north and spend the second half of the week tracking near or off the coast of the Carolinas.
If the wind shear can diminish enough and the low stays far enough away from land, the window may open for the first tropical depression of the Atlantic to form this week.
The Atlantic waters offshore of the Southeast are sufficiently warm enough for tropical development.
However, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Evan Duffey states that the prospect of development is not a guarantee.
“I feel this system has a lot more going against it than it has going for it with dry air working in from the north and the wind shear never really relaxes as much as what I would like to see for development,” Duffey said.
Even if development takes place, Duffey feels that it will remain a rather small and compact system with at most moderate tropical storm strength.
The Florida Peninsula could see a further increase in heavy and gusty thunderstorms if the low becomes a depression near the state’s east coast.
Residents and visitors headed to the beaches of the Carolinas later this week should monitor the low for potential impacts as the Independence Day holiday approaches.
The low could stir up dangerous surf along the Southeast coast if it develops and strengthens. That would be the case even if the low remains well offshore.
Latest indications point toward the cold front set to sweep through the Northeast later this week directing the system away from the Northeast coast.
“Across the remainder of the Atlantic, the train of tropical waves continues to be battered by choking dry air and Saharan dust from the north,” Duffey added.
This hurricane season marks the first time since 2004 that a tropical depression or storm has failed to develop before July. The long-term average for the Atlantic Basin’s first named tropical storm is July 9.
The first named tropical storm in the Atlantic this year would acquire the name “Arthur.”
The formation of Arthur will commence what AccuWeather.com Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski feels will evolve into a below-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season.
However, Kottlowski stresses that coastal residents should not let their guard down.
“All we need is one hurricane,” Kottlowski said. “Just because we are saying this is going to be an inactive season doesn’t mean we couldn’t have a couple of very intense hurricanes.”
“All it takes is one storm or hurricane to ruin your vacation or your property.”
Meanwhile, the eastern Pacific has come alive with the formation of Tropical Depression Four-E and the development of another tropical system possibly in the works.
More at AccuWeather: Tropics Trying to Come Alive Near Southeast US