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Destructive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season may be over for US despite officially ending Nov. 30

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
November 04, 2017, 1:53:43 AM EDT

While the official end of the Atlantic hurricane season is not until Nov. 30, the chance of a tropical storm developing and hitting the United States this month is very low.

August and September brought great devastation due to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria striking heavily-populated areas. However, these storms struck when conditions were conducive for supporting tropical cyclones as hurricane season was at or approaching its climatological peak.

Ocean temperatures were like bath water and winds aloft were light during late August and September.

While hurricanes have formed and even struck the U.S. during November, the odds of such an occurrence are very low on average.

"Even though the Atlantic hurricane season officially lasts until the end of November, the weather pattern, statistics and the AccuWeather forecast strongly suggest that the possibility of another significant hurricane hitting the U.S. mainland is extremely small for the rest of the season," according to Dr. Joel N. Myers, AccuWeather founder and president.

Static November Hurricane States

The low risk is due to an increase in westerly winds at most levels of the atmosphere across North America. These winds tend to steer any potential tropical systems away from the Atlantic Seaboard and to a great extent the central and western Gulf of Mexico coast.

Meanwhile, stiff easterly winds at the surface and strong westerly winds aloft farther south in the tropics work toward disrupting the development of storms in the Caribbean Sea and the south-central Atlantic.

Static Tropical Wind Shear

Currently, there are also vast areas of dry air over the Atlantic, and water temperatures have throttled back from their late-summer peak levels.

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While tropical development is not likely in the Atlantic through late next week, there are a few areas to watch during November.

One area is over the middle of the Atlantic. However, these systems almost never wander very far to the west.

Static November Development Areas

Another area is over the western Caribbean.

"The southwestern Caribbean is the only part of the Atlantic Basin that is capable of supporting tropical development that might impact land areas over the next 10 to 14 days," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

"Currently, waters are very warm in the Caribbean, but winds aloft are too strong to allow a storm to spin up," Kottlowski said.

Should a system slowly gather moisture and spin in this area later in the month, progressively cooler waters and strong winds aloft farther north would likely cap its intensity to a tropical storm or minimal hurricane.

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