Thursday, July 3, 2008

Typical Hurricane Tracks

In June, systems can form only in a tight region about the Gulf of Mexico and up the east coast.  Near Africa, water is too cold for development.

By July, storms can form farther east in the Atlantic. The Gulf of Mexico, and north of the Caribbean are two hot spots for development.

By August, a tropical system can pop out of nowhere and become a hurricane the next day. Formation has spread to the Eastern most Atlantic and powerful storms are always a possibility in the east Caribbean. Systems are steered in the U.S.A. more often and less turn east than the later season.

The peak of the Hurricane season has come. Except for the extreme north-east, storms can form anywhere in the Atlantic. The official peak of activity is September 11. After this point the hurricane season starts to decline.

In October, temperatures of the east Atlantic drop below favorable for hurricanes. Activity can still be found in the Caribbean, but is much more common north of that area, including the Gulf of Mexico. Powerful major hurricanes are uncommon from this point on.

From November to the new year, Caribbean storms are almost non-existent. The cooling waters hinder almost all development. Most, if not all storms form and dissipate in the open waters way off the coast of the U.S.

All photos provided by National Hurricane Center.

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