Despite a quiet July in the Tropics, Hurricane Season 2012 is heating up again in August.
The season's seventh tropical depression formed late Thursday in the Atlantic Ocean and appears to be heading toward the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands in the Carribean Sea, according to forecasts from the National Hurricane Center.
Forecasters said the storm is picking up speed as it travels west at 23 MPH over open water. Maximum sustained winds are hovering around 35 MPH, the minimum wind-speed to classify as a tropical cyclone, and the forecastes say the storm could strengthen over the next 48 hours possibly becoming a named storm before reaching the Lesser Antilles.
A forecaster in the National Weather Service Charleston office said it is unclear at this point of the storm would be named Florence again, as it appears to have developed out of the remnants of the short-lived Tropical Storm Florence that developed last week, or if the storm would get the next name on the 2012 list, Gordon.
However forecasters expect the storm to remain relatively weak as a high pressure atmospheric ridge over most of the Atlantic Ocean is expected to hinder the storm from turning north, and the surrounding dryer air could lead to the storm degenerating into a tropical wave within the current 5-day forecast models.
The storm is expected to continue traveling west and approach the Windwards and Leewards Saturday night.
Meanwhile the NHC is also monitoring an area of thunderstorms and low pressure moving off the east coast of Africa, which has a 30 percent chance of developing into another tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours, though forecasts show that likelihood of that to be waning as the system is heading over colder water.