September 15th, 2010
08:39 AM ET

Hurricane season already more active, could get worse

A NASA satellite shows Hurricane Igor churning in the Atlantic on September 14.

[Updated at 9:54 a.m.] The 2010 hurricane season is about half over and it’s already produced the same number of storms than what we would typically see in an average season.

With Karl now on the list, that makes 11 named storms, five hurricanes, Alex, Danielle, Earl, Igor and Julia, and of those, four have been major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater.

An average season brings 11 named storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. It's scary to think there could be many more on the way.

Thankfully no major direct hits so far this season, as the winds have been steering the stronger hurricanes close to the united states, but not onto the coastline. The Bermuda High over the Central Atlantic steers storms across the ocean has had a frequent “weak spot” allowing storms to curve to the north.

But the powerful storms have been kicking up huge waves, making for dangerous beach conditions off and on along the eastern seaboard.  Two systems did impact Texas - Tropical Storm Hermine entered the state through Mexico and brought major flooding and Tropical Depression 2 came ashore on South Padre Island, Texas. Tropical Storm Bonnie made landfall in Florida on July 23rd with winds of 40 mph.

During peak hurricane season, storms can develop very quickly and it’s not unusual to have multiple storms in the Atlantic at one time. They can also form almost anywhere over the open water.

Two of the factors that aid in hurricane development are warm water temperatures and light winds. According to NOAA, the summer of 2010 was the fourth warmest on record. This makes for incredibly warm water temperatures that can help maintain powerful hurricanes. In addition, La Nina, the sister of El Nino, has formed in the equatorial pacific.

When La Nina is present, it tends to create calmer winds in the Atlantic, allowing storms to ventilate and grow. All signs point to a continued active season that doesn’t end until November 30th. NOAA says there is the potential that this will be among the more active seasons on record.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. SxSW

    What do you mean there have been no direct hits? Texas has been hit twice, with multiple deaths involved. Go tell the people recovering from all the flooding about the misinformation in this article. I'm sure they would appreciating hear about it and helping to set the record straight.

    Bad journalism!

    September 15, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Gigi

      Are you all reading the same article I am? I see 11 storms in print and no "major" direct hits. Get some glasses!!!

      September 15, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. hilary

    Just wondering how "Karl" makes 13 named storms; unless I can't count, that makes 11.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Figgins

      There are two more storms in the mid-Atlantic, Igor (#12) and Julia (#13).

      September 15, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • hilary

      Figgins – I counted them (I and J usually come before K, no?)

      But it seems the author has corrected it now anyway

      September 15, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nate

    Jacqui Jeras please do a better job researching before posting an article. Karl is the 11 named hurricanes not 13.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nate

    I stand corrected, 13 cyclone and 11 named hurricanes..Karl is the 11 named storm & 13 cyclone

    September 15, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Three Dog Mama

    I would rather focus on the direction on Igor and Julia. Hey, they may have something going – interesting couple with those two names? Igor toward Bermuda? What direction on Julia? Satellite showing these two would be nice.

    September 15, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Grammarian

    The last time I checked, all proper nouns have capital letters, therefore paragraph four should be "United States". On top of poor reporting, poor grammar.

    September 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Simone

    Hurricane Igor is huge. It is bigger than Colombia.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |