Dominican Republic hit by an 'easterly wave'
Africa builds them. The Atlantic winds them up. Some of them become hurricanes.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 75 percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near - or above - normal. Similar figures have been produced for the Pacific.
Despite the lack of named storms, an easterly wave still brought destruction and flooding rains to the Dominican Republic over the weekend.
Most Atlantic hurricanes start as clusters of thunderstorms over tropical Africa. These are usually prompted by the Ethiopian Highlands, but often do noticeable damage in, for example, Sudan, Chad, Nigeria or the Ivory Coast.