When Do Hurricanes Typically Form?

By: Crystal Ploehn Email
By: Crystal Ploehn Email

With Tropical Storm Isaac wreaking havoc across the Gulf Coast, along with two other named storms churning in the Atlantic, you may wonder why all of a sudden these storms have formed when we haven’t seen much activity in the past few months. Hurricane season typically runs from June 1 to November 30. Fluctuations in the amount of active storms are common throughout the season.

Hurricane season approximately spans a total of 6 months throughout the year. During that time, there is no consistency on the amount of named storms we see in the Atlantic Ocean. Meteorologists have noticed a few patterns, however. The peak of the hurricane season tends to be from August to October, as the ocean temperatures are the warmest during those months. September sees the most tropical development on average, however.

It is possible but very rare for tropical storms or hurricanes to form before the official start of hurricane season. Since 1887, it has only happened 17 times ever, including this year with Tropical Storm Alberto on May 19. There was even a hurricane in March, months before the official start of the season, in 1908! It is also possible for hurricanes to form after the end of hurricane season, although that is even rarer because the ocean water is colder. The latest forming hurricane occurred in January of 1955.

Have a weather question? Email Ploehn@kbtx.com and your question could be featured in a blog!

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