Why Height of Hurricane Season Is Now - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Why Height of Hurricane Season Is Now

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Why Height of Hurricane Season Is Now
    NASA Sport
    Satellite imagery of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 6, 2017, show Saint-Martin and Anguilla taking a direct hit by the category 5 hurricane.

    We are tracking three tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin right now in what is the middle of an already an active hurricane season.

    According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, 78 percent of Tropical Storms, 87 percent of Category 1 and 2 storms and 96 percent of major hurricanes (categories 3 through 5) happen from mid-August through mid-October.

    The statistical peak of hurricane season is Sept 10.

    Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    Why that time period? Roughly every three days, a tropical wave — the beginning stage of a tropical cyclone — comes off the coast of Africa. This time of year, atmospheric conditions are favorable for these waves to grow into hurricanes.

    Wind shear, which can tear storms apart, is low this time of year. Ocean temperatures are the warmest they are all summer and the heat helps hurricanes grow. The air temperature and moisture content in the air is also high.

    By mid-October, as autumn starts to cool things down and upper level winds increase, the frequency of tropical cyclones decrease.

    Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. So far we have had 11 named storms.