We are right in the middle of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and things have really picked up in the tropics. So much so that it has many of you asking, “Why have things suddenly gotten so active?”
Well, it’s actually normal to see the tropics so active right now.
Hurricane season goes from June 1 until Nov, 30, with the most active months being August and September. The reason these two months see the most activity is because it’s when the waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic are warmest, which is a key ingredient for tropical development.
As the sun angle gets lower in the northern hemisphere and we head towards winter, the waters in these areas begin to cool which is why we see the numbers drop for October and the final month of November.
When it comes to rating these storms, it’s something similar to the Enhanced Fujita Scale – how we rate tornadoes.
Hurricane ratings are based off of the Saffir-Simpson Scale, and we rate them by categories:
- A category one hurricane has winds ranging from 74-95 mph and will produce some damage.
- A category two hurricane contains winds of 96-100 mph and will lead to extensive damage.
- A category three hurricane is when a hurricane is deemed a major hurricane. It contains winds of 11-129 mph and will lead to devastating damage.
- A category four hurricane has winds ranging from 130-156 mph and can cause catastrophic damage.
- Finally, a category five hurricane is winds of 157mph and great and will again lead to catastrophic damage.
So while fall is just around the corner, hurricane season is far from over.