Tropics Watch: A very weird (and destructive) hurricane season is coming to an end

No new development over next 5 days

The 2022 hurricane season got off to an extremely slow start, but quickly became very active in late September.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The 2022 hurricane season got off to an extremely slow start, but quickly became very active in late September.

For only the third time since 1950, a tropical cyclone, depression, storm or hurricane developed in the Atlantic Basin in the month of August. The late season push would go on to unfortunately tie records.

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Three hurricanes formed in November, tying this season with 2001, 1887 and 1870 as the only years with three hurricanes developing in November.

Pending December development, the season will end with 14 named storms, eight of them becoming hurricanes, two of those becoming major. Fiona and Ian both achieved Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

From an ACE perspective, the season was a 95. The average hurricane season has a value of 123.

ACE stands for Accumulated Cyclone Energy and is the true measure of how intense a hurricane season is. ACE measures the energy used by a tropical system during its lifetime.

These statistics really highlight the phrase “it only takes one.” Even in an average year in terms of the number of storms in the season or below average in terms of intensity, there can still be incredibly destructive storms.

Ian will no doubt be retired by the World Meteorological Organization. Fiona will have a chance as well due to the destruction it brought to Puerto Rico with its catastrophic flooding.

While tropical development in December is rare, it’s not impossible. Only seven times in the Satellite Era, since 1966, a named storm developed in December. The only such storm to make landfall in the Lower 48 was an unnamed tropical storm in 1925. That storm made landfall in southwest Florida.

There are no indications that a post-season storm will develop in 2022. Hurricane season officially ends Dec. 1.

The heavy rain that has been impacting the Windward Islands and parts of Central America is from thunderstorms related to the Intertropical Convergence Zone, an area of the disturbed weather generated by the winds of the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere coming together to create storms.

No new development is expected over the next five days.


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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.