TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The tropics have seemingly been asleep for the the past month or so – and while no one is complaining, it likely won’t stay that way for much longer.

Tropical development still isn’t expected — not just for the next five days but possibly the next 10 days, thanks to another large plume of Saharan dust. It is a little unusual for the dust plumes to be this dense and large this late in the season.

It is not unusual, however, for June and July to have as little activity as we have seen. As of Aug. 3, there have been three named storms in the Atlantic basin. Alex, Bonnie and Colin were all earlier season storms.

It might seem like this season has been quieter than normal because the past couple of years started off incredibly busy. Just last year, there had already been five named storms by Aug. 1. The season went on to produce 16 more storms for a total of 21, which is considered an extremely active season.

The year before that, in 2020, there were a whopping eight named storms during May, June and July. That season went on to 22 more storms for a total of 30 storms.

The seasons before that – 2018 and 2019 – were better representations of normal seasons where just two to three named storms formed through July. However, that was still just 10 to 20% of the total number of storms for those years because the majority formed in August, September and even into October.

On average, 61% of all storms form in August and September. That means the majority of storms have yet to form by the time we reach Aug. 1 when looking at historical averages.

The atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic become favorable for tropical development during these months with tropical waves coming off the coast of Africa and warm sea surface temperatures to help fuel the storms. Typically, atmospheric winds get a little calmer as well, allowing the tropical waves to organize into tropical storms and hurricanes.

The 2022 hurricane season is still expected to be above average. According to NOAA, 14 to 21 total named storms are possible. Colorado State University is forecasting 21 total named storms, both including the three that have already been named.

Tracking the Tropics streams at 2 p.m. ET every Wednesday during hurricane season. For the latest updates, check out our Tracking the Tropics website.