Saharan dust keeping tropics quiet as it heads toward Florida

Well, since Elsa left the scene, we haven't heard a peep from the tropics. 

Right now, the main development region between South America and Africa is silent! The Caribbean? You could hear a pin drop. Ok, how about the Gulf of Mexico, nope! Maybe the open Atlantic out near Bermuda? Not happening! 

For the first time in weeks, all areas that could possibly spin up something have shut down. While ocean temperatures are certainly warm enough and wind shear on the lower side, there's another factor weighing in and it's keeping things on the down-low. 

It's the Saharan Air Layer which stirred up over the Western African deserts by thunderstorms and pushed out into the Tropical Atlantic. 

This process has been happening all summer long. It's made for some beautiful sunrises and sunsets for us here in Florida but it's also kept things relatively quiet. 

WEATHER ALERTS: Download the FOX 35 Storm Team Weather app for live radar, severe weather alerts, and daily forecast reports on your phone

"The dusty, dry veil of air hovering over the ocean puts tropical development on the back burner, essentially the atmosphere is in a stranglehold of sorts," says FOX 35 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Jayme King. "Don't become too comfortable and be mindful it's still hurricane season. Things could change and quickly!" said King. 

The dust will remain in play for many days. Forecast modeling is indicating some pretty significant surges moving off of West Africa and into the tropical regions. 

PHOTOS: Saharan dust brings beautiful skies to Florida

Late-week forecasts show a significant surge as we head into the weekend and beyond through much of next week. Some of the dust will make it to Florida and it could certainly enhance our sunrises and sunsets as we saw several weeks ago. 

When the sun is lowest on the horizon, its rays have to travel through more of Earth's atmosphere, creating more pronounced oranges, reds, and pinks in the sky. 

TRACK THE TROPICS: Visit the FOX 35 Storm Team Hurricane Center for the latest tropical weather outlook and more

The dust can also dry the atmosphere so much that rain chances could drop off big time compared to what we've seen as of late! The FOX 35 Storm Team is tracking it all for you. Stay tuned!

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest weather updates.