As of Sunday afternoon, 40 named storms have formed in the Atlantic. Many of those are tropical cyclones, defined as having sustained winds of 39 miles per hour or higher. As we enter the peak of this year’s hurricane season, El Niño is weakening. And this means that the next hurricane season could be stronger than usual. This year’s Atlantic hurricane season has hit its peak, as measured by the number of tropical cyclones that formed. By this time last year, at least 32 named storms had formed. According to the Atlantic Hurricane Center, it is historically a very active hurricane season, with 12 to 15 named storms becoming hurricanes and six to eight becoming major hurricanes, with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher. The peak time for the Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30. And it only takes one major hurricane to cause major disaster. In 1980, the season began without many storms, but later in the season, a hurricane named Hugo caused at least a $4 billion in damage in the Carolinas. This year, eight named storms have formed. Though overall, the season is below normal, hurricanes could still be brewing in the Atlantic. Florida has suffered two storm-related fatalities, and there is a change in attitude among the state’s residents that may carry over into the upcoming hurricane season. News reports from these events have mentioned calls to “MOVE!” — a phrase more typically heard in non-hurricane seasons.
See the Observer’s hurricane storm tracker for more information on tropical cyclones and where and when the next hurricane will likely form.