The Atlantic Hurricane Season starts on June 1st and lasts until November 30th every year. This year, there have been 13 tropical cyclones, 5 of which have been major hurricane status.
Tropical Storm Arlene lasted from 19-20 April and remained in the northern Atlantic for the entire life span. Tropical Storm Bret occurred 19-20 June and was located just north of South America. Tropical Storm Cindy was located in the Gulf of Mexico and impacted Texas and Louisiana between 20-23 June. Tropical Storm Don occurred 17-18 July, and was located just above northeastern South America. Tropical Storm Emily happened between 31 July through 1 August and impacted Florida. Emily formed and made landfall in less than 24 hours and brought torrential rainfall followed by serious flooding to parts of Florida. Hurricane Franklin happened between 6-10 August and impacted the Yucatan Peninsula. Franklin rapidly intensified before making landfall in Mexico, before completely dying out. Once the remnants of Franklin crossed over to the Pacific, a new system was born but was very short-lived. Hurricane Gert occurred between 13-17 August and remained over open water. Gert formed north of the Caribbean and had a northward track before turning northeastward.
Hurricane Harvey was the first to become a major hurricane. Harvey began the journey north of South America but didn’t become a hurricane until it crossed over the Yucatan Peninsula. Rapidly intensifying to a strong Category 4, Harvey made landfall in Texas and then sat over the same area for days. Torrential rain along with storm surge completely flooded coastal areas. Rainfall was measured in feet as Harvey sat over Texas.
Hurricane Irma was the next storm and left a reputation in its wake. Irma started in the eastern Atlantic and tore through the islands of the Caribbean bringing devastation to places such as Antigua and Barbuda. Irma went back and forth between a strong Category 4 and an even stronger Category 5 hurricane. After impacting Cuba, Irma made a northward turn toward the Florida Keys. Irma had weakened a bit before hitting the Florida Keys, however, was still a very strong Category 4 hurricane. Making landfall in the Keys, Irma headed for the mainland and impacted places such as Naples, and Tampa. Irma pulled the water from the beaches as it traveled northward, and then pushed the water back onto the beaches as it passed.
Hurricane Jose had occurred in Irma’s wake, hitting the very places Irma destroyed. Jose was also a major hurricane as a Category 4 hurricane. Jose made a northward turn missing the East Coast of the United States, however, Jose was close enough to churn up high swells along the Mid-Atlantic and New England states.
Hurricane Katia occurred in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico making landfall in eastern Mexico. Hurricane Lee started in the eastern Atlantic and had a western track. Lee dissipated to a tropical depression and re-emerged in the central Atlantic to become a major hurricane. Lee is still ongoing as of 27 September.
Hurricane Maria started in the eastern Atlantic and traveled westward toward the eastern Caribbean and made landfall in Dominica and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was mostly spared during Hurricane Irma, but did not have the same luck with Hurricane Maria. Maria slammed Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane with surface winds of 155 mph. The radar was knocked out by Hurricane Maria as she was making landfall. Puerto Rico was devastated by Maria and is still in need of help. Maria made a northward turn coming close to the Outer Banks of North Carolina pushing high surf and life-threatening rip currents onto the coast. Maria is also ongoing as of 27 September, as a Category 1 and is expected to pull off the coast in a northeastward direction.
Unfortunately, the Atlantic Hurricane Season is not over. The National Hurricane Center has a low chance of development over Florida within the next five days.
The graphic above is only up to Hurricane Irma. This is only a preliminary as the season is not yet over.
Stay tuned for more updates here!
ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell