Keeping an eye on Trop Depression #7

August 10, 2012 7:53:41 PM PDT
A new tropical depression formed in the Atlantic on Thursday far from land. It was the seventh tropical depression to form in the Atlantic and forecasters say it could strengthen into a tropical storm as it takes a path toward the Caribbean.

Although Tropical Depression #7 is moving over warm water, it is surrounded by dry air and there's moderate wind shear ahead of it. Because of some small strengthening seen in the satellite data, the National Hurricane Center's forecast shows it becoming a tropical storm on Saturday and then degenerating into a trough of low pressure in the central Caribbean on Sunday.

If it does strengthen into a tropical storm, it will be named Gordon.

The Atlantic hurricane season got off to an early start and will likely stay busy, producing a few more storms than originally predicted, U.S. forecasters said Thursday.

Forecasters said warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures and wind patterns that favor storm formation mean chances are higher for an above-normal season. However, that is tempered with the expected development of an El Nino weather pattern over the Pacific that may suppress storms later in the season.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

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