JUST IN: Possible tropical development in Atlantic as peak season arrives

A tropical wave about to leave the coast of Africa has the National Hurricane Center’s attention with forecasters giving it a 20 percent chance of developing over the next five days.

The wave, which should leave the coast by late Thursday, is expected to head west at about 15 mph.

Environmental conditions are expected to gradually become more conducive for some development to occur by early next week, according to center forecasters.

BOOKMARK The Palm Beach Post’s storm tracking map. 

If the tropical wave develops, it would be named Florence.

A year ago Monday, the tropical wave that would become Hurricane Irma left the African coast.

This year it’s been eerily quiet in the Atlantic, although straight up statistics show it’s been a near normal year with five named storms and two hurricanes.

RELATED: Will a storm be named after you this season?

“We’ve had five storms and nobody would probably guess that because none of them have been very significant,” said Chris Davis, a senior scientist and associate director at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “The development’s been pushed to the margins and hasn’t had time to organize into anything intense.”

Beryl and Chris, the season’s two hurricanes, were short lived and steered clear of land. While Chris reached Category 2 strength briefly, Beryl maxed out at 80 mph and was a hurricane for just longer than a day.

Alberto, Debby and Ernesto all remained tropical or subtropical storms. Subtropical cyclones are spread out, with their strongest winds further from the center and slapdash thunderstorms that don’t always form a continuous doughnut of clouds.

Still, experts said quiet seasons can take radical turns when September arrives.

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