The Atlantic Basin typically reaches its peak in tropical activity during the first few weeks of September, specifically around Sept. 10. The first half of September is climatologically when the temperature of ocean water in the Atlantic is at its peak; therefore, the most basic requirement for tropical development is met.
The Atlantic Ocean experiences its peak water temperatures about one to two months after many land-based observation stations across North America experience their climatological peak temperatures for the year, and about two and a half months after the summer solstice (the longest day of the year across the Northern Hemisphere). As a result, the frequency of named storms is most often the greatest during the first few weeks of the first month of meteorological fall. In an average year, September will feature approximately four named storms in which about two strengthen into hurricanes. The most active September on record across the Atlantic Basin occurred in 2002 and 2010 with eight named storms.
The number of named storms will usually start to drop off by the end of September, and especially into October, as ocean temperatures cool and wind shear from the mid-latitudes increase and push southward into the tropics.
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