We’re officially one month away from the end of hurricane season, but if history is an indication, it’s not time to let our guard down.
Or, as Dennis Feltgen from the National Hurricane Center says: “No, you’re not allowed to raid your hurricane supplies yet.”
In eight of the past 10 years, a tropical storm or hurricane has formed in the Atlantic basin in November, said Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman for the Miami-based hurricane center.
“If we’re lucky we won’t have anything hitting land, let alone forming out there,” he said, “but it’s way too early to let our guard down yet.”
The latest a storm has made landfall on the continental United States with hurricane-force winds was Hurricane Kate on Nov. 21, 1985. That Category-2 storm struck the Florida Panhandle — near Mexico Beach, of all places — a week before Thanksgiving.
Conditions won’t favor any more worrisome tropical activity off the coast of Africa at this time of year, but Feltgen said forecasters will monitor the Gulf Coast and the northwest part of the Caribbean Sea for development.
We’re already experiencing an above-average hurricane season. The typical year brings 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes to the Atlantic. For 2018, Hurricane Oscar is our 15th named storm and our eighth hurricane, and we’ve had two major hurricanes (Florence and Michael).
As National Hurricane Center meteorologists prepare for their end-of-season report next month, Hurricane Michael’s formation into a destructive force out of the Gulf of Mexico will be one topic drawing continued discussion.
“The rapid intensification was a little surprising,” Feltgen said of the storm that reached Category-4 status before crashing through the panhandle.
“It’s something that a lot of folks will be studying.”