We are nearing close to the end, as November 30th marks the conclusion of hurricane season. With two major storms that caused catastrophic damage to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts–Michael and Florence–coastal residents and meteorologists are curious if this year’s hurricane season is finally over. Unfortunately, with the presence of El Niño and deteriorating frontal systems, there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel yet. It’s projected that we may experience another tropical cyclone or two before the year is up, while the end of October and the end of November may bring with it two more major hurricanes.
Between Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence, billions of dollars in damage was recorded, homes were wiped out, and flooding persisted. With two back-to-back storms, residents are hoping that we are soon to see the end of hurricane season. So far, the coast isn’t clear. Many times, hurricane-like weather will continue all the way up until the final days of the season. While we hope it doesn’t happen, tropical cyclones are capable of forming before the season ends. However, even though this is a possibility, the question of whether or not it will make landfall won’t be determined until the system has formed. According to the National Hurricane Center, from previous years, there’s an average of two named storms that have developed in the Atlantic basin past October 20th. Typically, these systems will either form in the western and central areas of the Caribbean Sea or in the western parts of the Atlantic Ocean, moving north or northeast as it strengthens.
Whether or not we will see the formation of more hurricanes or tropical cyclones is dependant on a few factors. Right now, El Niño is slowly developing in the Pacific, as we are certainly feeling its environmental effects. On average, fewer tropical storms in the Atlantic form with El Niño present. This is mainly due to the increase of shearing winds since they can tear apart systems that are either develop or try to develop. Another factor that can determine the fate of the remaining time left in 2018’s hurricane season is cold fronts. Cold fronts are capable of starting tropical and subtropical cyclones within the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic.
As we approach the end of the hurricane season, meteorologists and the National Hurricane Center will be keeping a keen eye on the presence of El Niño and the spreading of cold fronts across the South.
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