As of 11 pm on July 22, we now have two tropical systems in the Atlantic Basin. Tropical Depression 8 has just formed in the center of the Gulf of Mexico and may become TS Hanna in the next day or two. This storm poses no threat to the Southeast as it is expected to continue to move westward and make landfall on the south coast of Texas.
TS Gonzalo formed earlier today in the central Atlantic Ocean and is becoming better organized over the warm water. It may become a hurricane in the next day or two before it experiences adverse conditions as it approaches the Caribbean. At present Gonzalo is also not considered a threat to the Southeast as the long-range forecasts are currently predicting it to move westward towards Texas. However, forecasts this far out are subject to change so if you have outdoor activities planned for late next week, you will want to watch this storm. This is the first storm of the year to form in the Main Development Region of the Atlantic where most of our biggest hurricanes come from, and it is the earliest 7th named storm on record.
Following Gonzalo, another big plume of dust appears to be coming off of Africa, which could stabilize things in the Atlantic for a few days after Gonzalo, but as we approach the main part of the Atlantic hurricane season, we are certain to see more storms form in the next few weeks.