peak of hurricane season

Today is Statistical Peak of Hurricane Season

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), today is the statistical peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin.

Little Known Facts About Hurricanes: Peak of Season

The NHC has a fascinating page on hurricanes and climatology. Here are some interesting facts I gleaned from it.

Source: NHC. Peak of season occurs on September 10.

“The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico) is from 1 June to 30 November. As seen in the graph above, the peak of the season is from mid-August to late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season,” warns the NHC.

Average Number of Storms

Source; NHC

In an average season, we get 11 or 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes and two or three of which become major hurricanes (category 3 or greater).

Twelve storms would get you to the letter L. But so far this year, we’re already on the R storm. And we have three more months to go in the season.

Points of Origin Tend to Shift by Month

The NHC shows where hurricanes tend to form each month of the season. In the first ten days of September, more hurricanes form in the Gulf than at any other time. The NHC shows a whole series of charts like the one below. It’s interesting to see how they change from period to period.

Source: NHC. Sept. 1-10 and Sept. 11-20 show the greatest number of hurricanes forming in the Gulf.

Note how few storms formed in the Caribbean compared to the period from October 11 to 20.

Compared to September 1-10, note how many more storms formed in the Caribbean during October 11-20.

Track Probabilities Also Shift by Month

The NHC also shows an interesting series of charts that show track probabilities by month. September is the most likely month for storms to track through the Caribbean, into the Gulf and onward to the Texas coast.

Source: NHC
Source: NHC

In stark contrast, during October, storms are most likely to veer east toward Florida and the East Coast.

Strike Density on Western Gulf Coast

Source: NHC

On the Texas Gulf Coast, Galveston has been hit more times than any other county. Harris, Brazoria and Chambers Counties follow closely.

Today’s Five Day Tropical Outlook

As if on cue, the NHC is now tracking seven tropical disturbances (as of 800 AM EDT Thu Sep 10 2020).

The two closest to Texas are highlighted in yellow above. That means they currently have less than a 40% chance of formation.

A large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms near the Bahamas is forecast to move westward, crossing Florida on Friday and moving into the eastern Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. Upper-level winds are expected to become conducive for some development of this system while it moves slowly west-northwestward over the eastern Gulf of Mexico early next week. Formation chance through 5 days is 30 percent.

Another trough of low pressure has developed over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and is producing a few disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Some slow development of this system is possible while this system moves westward and then southwestward over the northern and western Gulf of Mexico through early next week. Formation chance through through 5 days is even lower, at 20 percent.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/10/2020

1108 Days since Hurricane Harvey