Tropical Storm Florence forms, August off to booming start in the tropics

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Right on the heels of Tropical Storm Ernesto, Florence has formed in the Eastern Atlantic.

Unlike Ernesto, which is headed into the very warm waters of the Caribbean sea and the Gulf of Mexico, Florence is forecast to remain over areas that are only marginally warm enough to keep a tropical system going.  Additionally, drier air will be pulled into the storm's center, ruling out chances for significant intensification.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center also cite a relatively stable air mass over the Eastern Atlantic as another impediment to the storm's growth.

Florence isn't far off the coast of Africa, so it will be a long time before models will have a good idea of whether or not the storm will make landfall, but the Carolinas are more likely to be impacted by this storm than Ernesto, which is headed for the Yucatan Peninsula.

Even if Florence does head for the Eastern Seaboard, it is forecast to lose most of its punch before it arrives, which could simply mean that an area of low pressure moves in and brings welcome rain.