Hurricane Season may be Over, but Storms Can Still Form
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is officially finished. The season ended on Thursday, November 30. However history tells us that tropical cyclones can still form during the “off-season” which we are in now.
The Atlantic hurricane season spans from June 1 to November 30. This is when most tropical cyclone activity takes place. It is estimated that 97% of all tropical cyclones occur between those dates. This is a period in the calendar year (here in the Northern Hemisphere) when the sea surface temperatures are warmest and disruptive winds, known as wind shear, can weaken significantly. These factors help generate tropical cyclones.
When storms form in the hurricane off-season they usually stay at a tropical storm status or weaker. That means the sustained winds remain below 73 miles per hour. This is because there is far less energy and opportunity for storms to strengthen during the winter.
While on the rare side, off-season tropical cyclones can occur across the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. These storms usually do not reach hurricane status with dangerous storm surge and winds, but rather produce the biggest hazard of heavy rainfall. If any storms do form outside of the season, we will surely let you know and give you the forecast for that specific storm.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier