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Hurricane activity forecast for October

After a slow start to the Atlantic hurricane season, the tropics decided to make up for lost time in the last weeks of September when Hurricanes Fiona and Ian caused devastating damage in Puerto Rico, Cuba and Florida.

October ranks as the third busiest month (after September and August) for tropical activity in the Atlantic basin. It generally produces about two named storms each year, one of which becomes a hurricane. And every other month in October, on average, one of those hurricanes intensifies into a major hurricane, reaching an intensity of Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

On average, about a quarter of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity remains from October 3 through the end of the Atlantic hurricane season on November 30.

Photo: BBC.

While most areas of the Atlantic basin remain active developing lows in October, much of the tropical activity tends to shift westward as disturbances that often arise from Africa begin to fade.

Any disturbances that arise off the coast of Africa in October will often be met with hostile atmospheric conditions such as dry air and strong upper-level winds over the waters of the eastern tropical Atlantic.

The western Caribbean Sea, eastern Gulf of Mexico, and western and central Atlantic Ocean are the areas where a tropical storm or hurricane is most likely to develop in October. That means parts of the US East and Gulf coasts remain at risk of a landfalling storm.

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