Hurricane Michael

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which featured two of the most destructive storms in U.S. history, will quietly conclude on Friday, Nov. 30.

Over the past six months, there were 15 named storms during the season, eight of which became hurricanes. Only two of those eight hurricanes, Florence and Michael, strengthened into major hurricanes.

The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE), which measures the intensity of a hurricane season, was 128.9, according to Colorado State University. An above-average season is about 111 units, while a below-average season is less than 66.

The 2017 ACE value was a whopping 226, a year which saw major hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria make direct impacts on land.

Activity was above normal for the season and higher-than-normal sea surface temperatures in key development areas of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico were a major factor, according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

A standard season typically includes 12 tropical storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes, he explained.

Much of the tropical development took place in the central North Atlantic, where storms remained away from land. Abnormally warm waters played a factor in this breeding area.

“This really allowed the [number of storms] to be higher than a normal year,” Kottlowski said.

Damaged homes are seen along the water’s edge in the aftermath of hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Another factor was that more than three-quarters of the season occurred without the presence of El Niño, which means the climate pattern was in an ENSO neutral state. When an El Niño pattern is in effect, this can limit the amount of tropical systems that are born in the Atlantic. 

 

Another factor was that more than three-quarters of the season occurred without the presence of El Niño, which means the climate pattern was in an ENSO neutral state. When an El Niño pattern is in effect, this can limit the amount of tropical systems that are born in the Atlantic. 

 

 

 

 

 

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