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Hurricane season takes a break, but it's not over yet

Wednesday, September 23rd 2020, 3:20 pm - "Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 5 days" wrote the National Hurricane Centre on September 23, after a period that saw eight named storms in the last few weeks. However, forecasters say not to presume this record-breaking season is over yet.

The hurricane season to date has been a memorable one, with 23 named storms, even taking us two names into the Greek alphabet with now post-Tropical Storm Beta in the Gulf of Mexico.

Atlantic 2020 storms

The strongest storm we have seen this season was Hurricane Laura, with winds topping 240 km/hr 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 August 27, 2020.

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

As both Beta in the Gulf and Teddy in Atlantic Canda gradually lose strength, the tropics are now facing a quiet period not seen since September 6th, with no future storms brewing.

NHC Atlantic

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 Hurricane 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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