October can produce major hurricanes

HOLT, Fla., Oct. 3, 2017–Although September is historically the busiest hurricane month, October has been know to produce a few storms of its own.

According to NOAA, October averages two tropical storms and one hurricane per year with less than .5 percent making landfall in the United States.

octoberAs the graphic shows, October hurricanes are most likely to originate closer to the United States rather than moving across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa.

For the Florida panhandle, the Caribbean Sea is the most likely area for hurricane development.

The Atlantic Basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, averages 12 tropical storms and six hurricanes per year, according to NOAA.

2005 was the busiest hurricane season with 28 named storms and 15 hurricanes, going completely through the name list.  Seven of those 15 hurricanes were classified as major hurricanes, category three or higher.  And of those seven major hurricanes, four made a U.S. landfall.

According to NOAA, 40 percent of all U.S. hurricanes hit Florida. Eighty-eight percent of major hurricane strikes hit either Florida or Texas.

Florida had 114 hurricanes during the years 1851 to 2015. Of those, 37 were major hurricanes with six being category four and two being category five.

Northwest Florida had 55 hurricane hits in the same time period. Twelve of those were category three storms. According to NOAA records, there have been no category four or five storms to make landfall in northwest Florida.

Florida had 10 major hurricanes in October  with three of them making landfall in the panhandle, according to NOAA. Hurricane Opal landed near Pensacola as a category three storm in October 1995.


The National Weather Service in Mobile recaps the 2017 hurricane season to date. (NWS Mobile)

Stephanie Holcombe


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