ATLANTA — The 2019 hurricane season officially began on June 1. Most tropical systems develop in August and September, but the ones that form earlier are usually closer to home.

In June and July, water temperatures are highest in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and the western Atlantic.

The main ingredients for tropical cyclone formation are all present there: water temperatures of at least 80 degrees, weak upper-level winds and deep moisture. 

Further east in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, water temperatures are much lower, upper-level wind speeds are stronger and there is dust from the Sahara Desert. These all prevent tropical cyclones from forming, at least for the first few months of the hurricane season. 

So, when it comes to tropical storms and hurricanes in June and July, we need to keep eyes on the waters closest to home.

Don't forget, even though we are landlocked here in Atlanta, we can still feel the impacts from tropical systems, just like we did with Hurricane Michael.

We are your 11Alive StormTrackers, keeping your family safe.