Water temperatures over large parts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Western Atlantic are running as much as 3 degrees above normal, especially closer to the coastlines.
This trend is the obvious result of the unusually hot temperatures that have prevailed over the Eastern U.S. for the past several weeks, with the water temps now catching up.
Warm water is the lifeblood for tropical systems, and such large sea surface temperature anomalies could very well be a harbinger of a busy season starting up very soon. it will certainly be worth watching.
An interesting side note to this… if in fact we do start to see a rapid increase in tropical activity this early in the season, it could also have the reverse effect later on, by upwelling colder, deeper water, thereby inhibiting later-season development.