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.
See images related to this story:
Summer weather across the US in 2018
Summer weather across the US in 2018
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - AUGUST 17: A man and his nephew enjoy the warm water at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point on Friday, August 17, 2018. (Photo by Paul Bersebach/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 17: People cool themselves during a warm day at Central Park on August 17, 2018 in New York City. Severe thunderstorms and even an isolated tornado could strike New York City on Friday. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
WEEHAWKEN, NJ - AUGUST 17: A man takes a look of the haze over the New York skyline and One World Trade Center on August 17, 2018 in Weehawken, New Jersey. Severe thunderstorms and even an isolated tornado could strike New York City on Friday. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - AUGUST 10: A surfer loses it on a wave in Newport Beach on Friday, August 10, 2018. A swell from Hurricane John will bring larger waves to south-facing beaches through the weekend. (Photo by Paul Bersebach/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
A man sunbathes on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California on August 7, 2018. Temperatures climbed to near 100 degrees as a week-long heat wave continues in Southern California. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
WELLFLEET, MA - JUNE 21: Mark Wilke and his wife Sharon enjoy the first day of summer at White Crest Beach in Wellfleet, MA on June 21, 2018. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - JUNE 20: A pedestrian passes near the Netherlands Carillon as the Washington Monument and United States Capitol are seen at sunrise on Wednesday June 20, 2018 in Arlington, VA. The summer solstice is Thursday. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Pedestrians watch sailboats and windsurfers on the Charles River on the summer solstice in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A women keeps in the shade of her umbrella as she tries to beat the heat at Cardiff State beach in Encinitas, California, U.S. July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A man cools off in fountain on the Rose Kennedy Greenway during a summer heat wave in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
OLD ORCHARD BEACH, ME - JULY 4: Ryan Parsons, left, of Unity watches as his daughter, Lily, 10, rides the waves on her inflatable whale at Old Orchard Beach on a hot, beautiful Fourth of July. The Parson family was spending the day at the beach keeping cool and watching the fireworks. (Staff photo by Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
NEW JERSEY, USA - JUNE 30: People enjoy Manhattan skyline at the Hamilton Park during the hot weather in New Jersey, United States on June 30, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, July 2, 2018 -- People cool themselves at a fountain at Washington Square Park in New York City, the United States, on July 2, 2018. The highest temperature reached 35 degrees Celsius in New York City on Monday as a result of a prolonged heat wave. (Xinhua/Wang Ying via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - JULY 23: Rain clouds are seen over Lower Manhattan in New York, United States on July 23, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW JERSEY, USA - JULY 27: People walk with their umbrellas during a rainy day at the Liberty State Park in New Jersey, United States on July 27, 2018. (Photo by Atlgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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"In the short term, there is an area just west of the coast of Africa, near Cabo Verde, that bears watching," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
The Cabo Verde feature has the potential to become a powerful hurricane.
Steering winds may direct the Cabo Verde feature toward the middle of the Atlantic over the next week.
"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.
An area to watch is an area of disturbed weather currently moving through the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea.
"This feature bring the Lesser Antilles showers and gusty winds through Thursday," Kottlowski said. "Next the disturbance move is likely to move across the Bahamas and Straits of Florida during the Labor Day weekend."
As this system nears the Florida Peninsula late this weekend or ventures over the Gulf of Mexico next week, development may take place.
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.