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July 2 to mark longest stretch without tropical activity on record in northwest Pacific Ocean

A record is set to fall in the tropical northwestern Pacific Ocean as the basin enters its longest stretch of time without a named tropical cyclone - a streak that is likely to end next week.

The record is currently 198 days which occurred from Dec. 15, 1972 to June 30, 1973 and also from Dec. 22, 1997 to July 7, 1998.

This record was tied on Friday and will be broken on Saturday, July 2 with no tropical systems currently brewing.

However, an area of low pressure set to develop and cross the Philippine Sea during the first half of next week will likely bring the tropical drought to an end.

The low is predicted to strengthen into a tropical storm and it is not out of the question that it becomes a minimal typhoon.

Residents of Taiwan, eastern China, South Korea and Japan, including the Ryukyu Islands, are being put on alert for impacts from the tropical system during the middle to latter part of next week.

Flooding rainfall will accompany the budding tropical system along its path. The risk of damaging winds and rough surf will heighten as it strengthens.

Depending on its exact track, the outer fringes of the system could also graze the Philippines' northern Luzon Island.

The development of a tropical storm would end this season's bid to break another tropical record. July 7 marks the latest start to a single season without a named tropical system in history, a record that is currently held by the 1998 season.

Regardless of whether a tropical storm takes shape next week, it will not be followed by a flurry of tropical activity.

"The window for development looks to slam shut by next weekend," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said. "Then, I do not see much opportunity [for further development] until late July."

The current five longest stretches, including this year, without a named tropical system in the western Pacific Basin all occurred during transitions from El Niño to La Niña phase of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

El Niño is defined by above-average sea-surface temperatures in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean. These sea-surface temperatures cycle from warm to cool, relative to average, over a several-year period.

When the sea-surface temperatures in the same area of the Pacific Ocean are cooler than average for a few months, a La Niña pattern has developed.

These below-normal sea-surface temperatures can have significant impacts on tropical development in the western Pacific Ocean. meteorologists are currently predicting a below-normal season for the western Pacific basin with 19 tropical storms and 10 typhoons. This is significantly below the historical averages for the basin.

"This will be one of the least active years on record," AccuWeather Tropical Expert Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski. "The record [for least tropical activity in the western Pacific Ocean] is 14 tropical storms and nine typhoons in 2010."

Areas predicted to have the greatest threat from tropical cyclones over the remainder of this summer include the Philippines, Taiwan and China. This threat is likely to shift toward Japan later in the season.

Despite a well below-normal forecast for tropical cyclones in the western Pacific Ocean, people should not let their guard down as a single strike from a powerful cyclone can cause great destruction and loss of life.

Content contributed to this story by Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.