For more than 20 years Earth Networks has operated the world’s largest and most comprehensive weather observation, lightning detection, and climate networks.
We are now leveraging our big data smarts to deliver on the promise of IoT. By integrating our hyper-local weather data with Smart Home connected devices we are delievering predictive energy efficiency insight to homeowners and Utility companies.
The nip that develops in the air, the holiday season rolling onto the calendar and the increase in fall foliage often leave few thinking about tropical storms or hurricanes in November. However, the last month of the Atlantic basin season, typically less busy than September and October, can produce tropical systems.
How Many Form?
The National Hurricane Center data suggests one storm forms every two years in the Atlantic basin, which consists of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean north of the equator. The last storm of the season typically forms on or before November 23.
Just last year a named storm developed in November. Tropical Storm Rina originated as a tropical wave off the African coast in late October. It became a tropical depression about 700 miles southeast of Bermuda by November 5 and then blossomed into a tropical storm about 780 miles east of Bermuda the next day. It moved north, never made landfall and dissipated well southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.
Named November storms also formed in 2016, 2015, 2013, 2011 and 2010.
Looking back at the historical 2005 season, three tropical storms took shape in November with another forming in December. Tropical Storm Epsilon, the most intense of the systems, formed on November 29, 2005 in the open Atlantic and became a hurricane on December 2. In 2004, Tropical Storm Otto formed on Nov. 30, the last day of hurricane season, east of Bermuda. It too lasted until Dec. 2, when it was downgraded to a tropical depression.
In what was a very unusual hurricane season, 2005 even produced a named storm, Tropical Storm Zeta, on December 30. Zeta was the second latest-forming storm on record. The storm persisted until January 6, 2006, never threatening land.
Where They Form and Why
Most November tropical systems usually form in only one of two spots, the western Atlantic northeast of Cuba and in the southwestern Caribbean near the Central American coast.
Storms that form in November, whether they develop in the Caribbean or over the western Atlantic, usually track to the northeast toward the open waters of the western and central Atlantic. These storms can be troublesome for eastern Cuba, the Bahamas and Bermuda. On a rare occasion, storms that form near the Central America coast can track north into the Gulf of Mexico and turn northeast toward Florida.
Tropical systems have a better chance of developing and surviving in November in these locations because water temperatures, even in November, have not cooled off below the 80-degree threshold storms need to form and grow. Additionally, hurricane-killing wind shear often remains low or non-existent. In other areas of the tropics and over the Gulf of Mexico, wind shear becomes stronger in the autumn, often tearing apart any waves of thunderstorms that try to organize into a tropical system.
Famous November Hurricanes
At least seven major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater have formed in the Atlantic basin since 1900. 2008`s Paloma was the most recent one to form.
The United States is not immune from direct hurricane hits in November. Record books show that four hurricanes have made U.S. landfall since 1900 during this last month of hurricane season. All four storms impacted Florida, with the most recent occurring in 1985. Hurricane Kate, a Category 2 storm, roared ashore in northwestern Florida producing an estimated $300 million in damage.