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All quiet in the Atlantic: Is the record-breaking hurricane season over?

Friday, September 25th 2020, 11:18 am - "Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 5 days," says the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Sept. 25, after a period that saw eight named storms in the last few weeks. Does this mean the record-setting hurricane season is finished?

The hurricane season to date has been a memorable one, with 23 named storms, even taking us two names into the Greek alphabet.

The strongest storm we have seen this season was Hurricane Laura, with winds topping 240 km/h at its strongest. Laura became the strongest tropical cyclone, on record in terms of wind speed, to make landfall in Louisiana, which it did on Aug. 27, 2020.

Most recently, on the Canadian side of the border, there was the landfall of Post-Tropical Cyclone Teddy on Sept. 23.

Atlantic 2020 storms

With Teddy now gone and the remnants of Beta rapidly fading, the tropics are now facing a quiet period not seen since Sept. 6th, with no storms brewing in the immediate future.

DOES THIS BREAK MEAN THE SEASON IS OVER?

Not at all. In fact, this lull will give the Atlantic some chance to recover some of its warmth, lost during the passage of large systems drawing colder water up from the lower depths.

But even with these past systems, ocean temperatures are still near peak warmth, and still have lots of available heat energy to fuel tropical systems.

As such, forecasters are still keeping watch for any potential systems near the coast, as well as more easterly waves off the west coast of Africa.

OCTOBER IS STILL AN ACTIVE MONTH

NHC 100 years

Climatologically the month of October, while slower than September, is still very active. This means that we still need to be on guard this hurricane season.

Some notable October hurricanes are Michael, which made landfall as a Category 5 storm in the Florida panhandle in 2018. Another October hurricane was Wilma in 2005, which went down in history as the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.

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