Tropical Update: Mid-Season Review

by Sarah Dillingham
CNN Meteorologist

One week after the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, September 10, the tropics remain fairly active in both the Atlantic and Pacific Basins.  After a record number of eight named storms formed in the Atlantic Basin during the month of August, only 3 tropical cyclones developed in the Pacific Basin, with two of them becoming hurricanes, none major.  This activity was slightly below average for the Pacific as three to four named storms typically develop during the month with two becoming hurricanes and one becoming a major hurricane.  14 named storms have already developed in the Atlantic Basin thus far, placing activity around 50% above normal for this point in the season which is in line with NOAA’s above-average forecast numbers for the 2012 Hurricane Season.

September is nearly half way complete and two tropical cyclones have developed in the Atlantic this month: Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Nadine, both of which remained in open waters.  The Pacific Basin has remained active as well with three named storms developing: Tropical Storm John, Tropical Storm Kristy, and Hurricane Lane.  The Pacific activity has remained near normal throughout the season with the exception of its early start on May 14 when Tropical Storm Aletta developed, just one day prior to the official start of the Pacific Hurricane Season which is May 15.  The Atlantic Season lasts from June 1 to November 30, so there is still some time for additional storms to develop.

During September, tropical cyclones typically originate in the Western Atlantic near the Leeward Islands, as well as in the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.  With water temperatures in those areas remaining above 80°F, a threat for more storms does exist for the next few months, assuming upper-level conditions remain favorable.  There are currently two tropical waves identified in the Atlantic Basin, but the National Hurricane Center has given them both a 0% chance of development in the next 48 hours.

The most notable storms of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season were Tropical Storm Debby and Hurricane Isaac, and their impacts remain fresh on the minds of many Gulf Coast residents.  For this reason, it is important that everyone remembers to have a safety kit prepared, as well as an evacuation plan in the event you and your family are in the path of a storm. For more information on how to plan for these events, go to Ready.gov, and for the latest advisories on existing tropical systems in the Atlantic and Pacific Basins, visit the National Hurricane Center website.

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