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Dorian may be moving away, but there are still two months left of hurricane season

After a week of death and devastation in the Bahamas and flooding and tornadoes in the Carolinas, Dorian is finally moving away from the Atlantic coast....

Posted: Sep 9, 2019 8:34 AM

After a week of death and devastation in the Bahamas and flooding and tornadoes in the Carolinas, Dorian is finally moving away from the Atlantic coast.

The storm was no longer a hurricane when it made landfall near Nova Scotia, Canada, on Saturday evening. But the heavy rains and powerful winds from the post-tropical cyclone still knocked out electricity for hundreds of thousands of people.

The worst likely isn't over.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which started on June 1 and lasts until November 30, is just now reaching its peak. Hurricane season peaks on September 10, and during the eight-week period surrounding that date, storms begin to form quickly.

There are three other disturbances in the Atlantic

Besides Dorian, forecasters are currently watching three other disturbances in the Atlantic.

Think of a disturbance as the first stage of a potential hurricane -- it's a weather system that usually includes a collection of clouds and precipitation. A disturbance can turn into a depression, a tropical storm or a hurricane, depending on how much its wind speed increases.

Tropical Storm Gabrielle is in the middle of the ocean and is expected to become a hurricane early next week, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A disturbance off the west coast of Africa has a 10 percent chance of forming into a cyclone over the next 48 hours, NOAA forecasters predict as of Sunday morning. Over the next five days, that likelihood increases to 40 percent.

There's also another disturbance closer the Caribbean, but it has a zero percent chance of forming in the next 48 hours as of Sunday morning. The chances that it will form even later on remain low.

That's just in the next few days.

Forecasters predict more storms than usual

There's a good chance that there will be more storm development in the Atlantic than usual in the coming weeks, according to the NOAA.

Forecasters from NOAA predicted in August that there's a 45 percent chance hurricane activity for the rest of the season would be above normal. The chances that the season will turn out to be near normal are 35 percent, they said, while the likelihood that activity will be below normal is 20 percent.

So what's considered normal?

According to NOAA, the Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms on average. A storm gets a name when it becomes a tropical storm, with sustained winds of 39 mph or greater.

Six of those named storms typically become hurricanes, with wind speeds of 74 mph or more. About three become major hurricanes, with wind speeds of 111 mph or greater.

This season, NOAA predicted that there would be 10 to 17 named storms and that five to nine of them would become hurricanes.

As things stand now, there have been seven named storms: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand and Gabrielle. Two of them, Barry and Dorian, strengthened into hurricanes.

Dorian has been the only major hurricane so far, slamming into the Bahamas with sustained winds of 185 mph and gusts reaching 200 mph.

Why hurricanes are expected to ramp up

The reason there will likely be more storms in the weeks ahead is because the weather phenomenon known as El Niño has ended.

El Niño refers to a warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean, mainly along the Equator. During an El Niño, there are more storms and hurricanes in the eastern Pacific. But the effect in the Atlantic is the opposite, decreasing the chances a hurricane will form.

"El Niño typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity but now that it's gone, we could see a busier season ahead," Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in a news release. "This evolution, combined with the more conducive conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, increases the likelihood of above-normal activity this year."

Bell is referring to the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season, which saw eight tropical cyclones and 11 hurricanes. It's considered to be the start of an ongoing era of high activity for tropical cyclones and hurricanes in the Atlantic basin.

Some of the worst hurricanes happened in September and October

If past years are any indication, the worst could be yet to come. Some of the most memorable hurricanes in recent history happened in September and October.

Hurricane Michael barreled into the Florida Panhandle in October 2018, becoming the strongest hurricane to hit the continental US since Andrew in 1992.

In September 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in the Caribbean island nation of Dominica and later in Puerto Rico. The storm left about 3,000 people dead and devastated the US territory.

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, before slamming into the Jersey Shore and wreaking havoc in New York and New Jersey. Sandy left more than 100 people dead and caused about $70 billion in damages, making it the fourth-costliest storm in US history behind Katrina, Harvey and Maria.

And in October 2005, Hurricane Wilma made landfall over Cozumel, Mexico, and later near Cape Romano, Florida. The storm killed 23 people and caused about $20 billion of damage in the US.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 503322

Reported Deaths: 10057
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34400541
DeSoto32318411
Hinds32074631
Jackson24551386
Rankin22103391
Lee15657235
Madison14662281
Jones13894243
Forrest13506253
Lauderdale12037318
Lowndes11091192
Lamar10531138
Pearl River9557238
Lafayette8581140
Hancock7751130
Washington7458161
Oktibbeha7152133
Monroe6796178
Warren6752176
Pontotoc6736104
Neshoba6656206
Panola6572131
Marshall6494135
Bolivar6331150
Union607794
Pike5849154
Alcorn5691102
Lincoln5468135
George502979
Scott474198
Tippah472481
Prentiss471582
Leflore4676144
Itawamba4651105
Tate4632111
Adams4617120
Copiah450092
Simpson4458116
Yazoo445388
Wayne440772
Covington429894
Sunflower4246105
Marion4236108
Coahoma4178108
Leake409888
Newton383179
Grenada3731108
Tishomingo361592
Stone360664
Jasper336565
Attala335290
Winston315391
Clay309077
Chickasaw302367
Clarke295894
Calhoun279947
Holmes268788
Smith266550
Yalobusha237247
Tallahatchie228752
Greene220649
Walthall219364
Lawrence213640
Perry206456
Amite206056
Webster203446
Noxubee186940
Montgomery179757
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169639
Tunica160139
Benton149439
Kemper142141
Choctaw134627
Claiborne132838
Humphreys129738
Franklin120728
Quitman106828
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson95934
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 821255

Reported Deaths: 15424
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1149051930
Mobile726651340
Madison52400699
Shelby37685350
Baldwin37285552
Tuscaloosa35147613
Montgomery34130740
Lee23556246
Calhoun22255490
Morgan21037378
Etowah19844500
Marshall18390304
Houston17406412
St. Clair16091339
Cullman15493293
Limestone15402199
Elmore15292286
Lauderdale14366295
Talladega13870283
DeKalb12670261
Walker11255370
Blount10227176
Autauga10061148
Jackson9909185
Coffee9215191
Dale8912186
Colbert8907201
Tallapoosa7103198
Escambia6782134
Covington6724183
Chilton6658162
Russell637659
Franklin5992105
Chambers5615142
Marion5016127
Dallas5013202
Pike4799106
Clarke477284
Geneva4577127
Winston4538103
Lawrence4352117
Bibb425686
Barbour358376
Marengo338390
Monroe332064
Randolph330264
Butler328596
Pickens317384
Henry313166
Hale311988
Cherokee303260
Fayette294580
Washington251651
Cleburne247960
Clay245568
Crenshaw245475
Macon235563
Lamar225747
Conecuh186654
Coosa180940
Lowndes175764
Wilcox169139
Bullock151844
Perry139240
Sumter133338
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
Out of AL00
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Tupelo
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Columbus
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Oxford
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Starkville
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High pressure leaves our area overnight and allows room for some low pressure and a cold front to move into our area on Wednesday. This will bring some good chances for some rain and isolated thunderstorms into our area during later portions of our Wednesday.
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