RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Even though things have been quiet lately, we are still in hurricane season.

So far we’ve had three named storms — Tropical Storms Alex, Bonnie and Colin. While it seems like we’re off to a slow start, on average, we don’t have our third named storm until August 3, so technically we’re ahead of schedule.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve had a persistent plume of Saharan Dust over the Atlantic basin, with more expected to push west over the next week.

Saharan dust limits tropical development because it makes the air over the water dry and dusty, and tropical systems need not only warm water, but warm and humid air stretching up into the sky. So, this dusty air limits tropical development.

Climatology tells us, however, it’s about to get active.

Having a calmer June and July during hurricane season is not unusual, since only 14 percent of our tropical storms or hurricanes form in June and July.

The bulk of our named storms (78 percent) form in August, September, and October. While it seems we’re off to a slow start, remember that we’re not even at peak season yet.

Forecasts from NOAA, Colorado State, and NC State all call for a more active than average season with the potential for up to 20 to 21 named storms, with anywhere from 6 to 10 of those storms becoming hurricanes.

Thursday, August 4, both NOAA and Colorado State will issue updates to their hurricane season forecasts, and if there are any significant updates, look for us to bring you that information.

We always hope for a calm season with no impacts here in North Carolina, but if something does develop, the CBS 17 Storm Team will keep you updated.