2 to 3 tropical threats may form in Atlantic during 1st part of September

With the peak of hurricane season close at hand, there are signs that the tropical Atlantic may soon spring to life with the potential for direct impact on the coastal United States in the days ahead.

People along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, as well as the Caribbean, have enjoyed an extended period with no great concern for tropical activity during August.

However, things are likely to change, and that change may be rapid.

"There are signs now that wind shear may drop over a significant part of the Atlantic basin over the next couple of weeks," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno.

Wind shear is the increase in wind speed with altitude and over geographical distance. Strong wind shear can prevent a tropical storm from forming or may cause a hurricane to weaken.

"In the short term, there is an area just west of the coast of Africa that bears watching," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

Steering winds may direct that feature toward the middle of the Atlantic over the next week, so it is questionable as to whether or not that may ever affect land areas.

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"During next week, one or more tropical systems may come about, and at least one may be rather close to the U.S.," Kottlowski said.

One area to watch is within a few hundred miles of the Florida Peninsula and the Bahamas and covers part of the western Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico during the latter part of next week.

Another system could come about over the western Atlantic later next week as well.

"There is the potential for two or three tropical features spinning over the Atlantic by the second weekend in September," Kottlowski said.

While conditions have been quiet for many weeks along the coast of the U.S. and the Caribbean, people should now begin to pay attention to the tropics.

One or more tropical systems may affect outdoor activities or possibly have a more serious impact on lives and property.

AccuWeather will continue to provide updates on the tropical activity over the Atlantic and other basins in the coming days.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay aware of any tropical bulletins that may be issued.