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Does the late start to the season mean a big finish? Not necessarily so.

10 Sep 2013, 2:52 pm
September 10th marks the climatological peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic.  So is it all downhill from here?  In a typical year I would say…..maybe.  But this isn’t a typical year.
Does the late start to the season mean a big finish?  Not necessarily so.  The season usually has activity from regions of the Atlantic basin at certain times of the year.  Early in the season most storms come from dying cold fronts in the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic near the east coast of the US.  Later in the summer, after the waters of the tropical Atlantic heat up, we have the Cape Verde season, named for the storms that develop from tropical waves originating near the Cape Verde Islands in the far east Atlantic.  By fall, the tropical Atlantic begins to shut down while the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and near east coast Atlantic waters are the most active areas.
Picture courtesy of NOAA

This year we had the early part of the season almost like normal.  What’s been missing is the usually very active middle part of the season.  Typically most of the destructive hurricanes occur during this middle part of the season.  But due to abnormally dry air in the tropics, and stronger than normal wind shear, the Cape Verde season has been rather quiet.
We still have the rest of the Cape Verde season which is usually over by early October and then the Caribbean/Gulf/West Atlantic season ahead.  Some pretty bad storms can come out of the Caribbean in the fall but there is no reason to think the season is going to make up in the second half what it couldn’t produce in the first half.  Still, one direct hit from a hurricane makes your season a busy one.

Meteorologist Craig Setzer is the longest on-air degreed meteorologist at CBS4 and myTV33 news. His experience in the #1 hurricane market in the country makes him uniquely qualified to cover them and inform you. Few meteorologists in the South Florida market have the education and experience to cover hurricanes and severe weather like Craig does.

 

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