The Peak of an Active Hurricane Season

Five tropical weather systems are spread across the Atlantic Ocean

map of storms
NBC 5 Weather

For only the second time on record, meteorologists on Monday morning are tracking five different tropical disturbances (Tropical Depression status or higher) in the Atlantic Basin. All this activity comes near the statistical peak of hurricane season. 

Hurricane activity spikes from mid-August through mid-October. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 78% of Tropical Storms, 87% of Category 1 and 2 storms, and 96% of major hurricanes (category 3-5) happen during this time. The statistical peak of the season is Sept. 10. 

Source: NOAA

The month of September accounts for 35% of all tropical activity in the Atlantic basin.

Why now? Roughly every three days a tropical wave comes off the coast of Africa, this is the beginning stage of a tropical cyclone. 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 decreases. 

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. 

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