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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: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19601229
Hinds18712386
Harrison16569277
Rankin12637263
Jackson12483219
Lee9671160
Madison9420196
Jones7914146
Forrest7159136
Lauderdale6798226
Lowndes6014137
Lamar585880
Lafayette5716113
Washington5182129
Bolivar4599121
Oktibbeha440391
Panola428392
Pearl River4138128
Warren4122113
Pontotoc408068
Marshall400392
Monroe3981126
Union393673
Neshoba3777167
Lincoln3491100
Hancock341674
Leflore3363118
Sunflower317385
Tate301574
Pike299193
Scott292868
Alcorn290760
Itawamba289072
Yazoo284962
Coahoma276367
Tippah276165
Copiah276057
Simpson272778
Prentiss268858
Leake252171
Marion251578
Wayne251541
Covington248278
Grenada246277
Adams233377
George231145
Newton226352
Winston221375
Jasper212744
Tishomingo211965
Attala206369
Chickasaw200851
Holmes181770
Clay178250
Stone171829
Tallahatchie170039
Clarke168971
Calhoun157128
Smith152431
Yalobusha143536
Greene127233
Walthall123640
Noxubee122829
Perry121434
Montgomery121338
Lawrence119521
Carroll117923
Amite110932
Webster110030
Jefferson Davis101231
Tunica98823
Claiborne97929
Benton93324
Humphreys92427
Kemper89623
Quitman77114
Franklin75619
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61927
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491849

Reported Deaths: 9869
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson707641366
Mobile35937724
Madison32307450
Tuscaloosa24024410
Montgomery22502499
Shelby21848214
Baldwin19698277
Lee14926151
Morgan13624251
Calhoun13202285
Etowah13154319
Marshall11243208
Houston10058259
Limestone9348134
Elmore9345182
Cullman8879179
St. Clair8799221
Lauderdale8588210
DeKalb8436174
Talladega7500163
Walker6509251
Jackson6483102
Autauga622890
Blount6084125
Colbert6004118
Coffee5235102
Dale4627106
Russell402930
Franklin398876
Covington3949106
Chilton386298
Escambia377472
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke343149
Chambers3399108
Dallas3397141
Pike292972
Lawrence282284
Marion281295
Winston246266
Bibb244560
Geneva238870
Marengo233755
Pickens223954
Barbour210651
Hale209068
Fayette199956
Butler195265
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe166038
Randolph163140
Washington156334
Crenshaw144054
Clay143454
Macon141643
Cleburne137139
Lamar132432
Lowndes130749
Wilcox121425
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105427
Sumter98331
Coosa88623
Greene87132
Choctaw54923
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