Hurricane season peaks today

     2015 Atlantic hurricane season summary map as of today. (Image: wikipedia.org)

    2015 Atlantic hurricane season summary map as of today. (Image: wikipedia.org)

    Today marks the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

    According to NOAA, historical data indicates that Sept. 10 is the day when tropical system activity is most likely to be occurring in the Atlantic basin due to favorable conditions (warm sea surface temperatures, moist air, and low wind shear). 

    As of today, there have been eight named tropical cyclones, two hurricanes, and one major hurricane. Two systems have directly impacted the United States.  

    Forecasters are currently tracking only one storm, Tropical Storm Henri, which is situated east of Bermuda and is expected to head north and then curve to the northeast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

    Henri will not impact the United States. 

    While El Niño — the pattern that has been influencing our weather — sometimes inhibits tropical system development and survival, forecasters say that it’s not a certainty. 

    “There are some years where the cause and effect nature of El Niño practically bring an early shut down to the Atlantic hurricane season and other years where we see tropical storms or hurricanes well into October,” said AccuWeather.com Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski in a recent article.

    According to NOAA, El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. During an El Niño year, increased upper level westerly winds lead to higher-than-average vertical wind shear and suppressed hurricane activity across the tropical northern Atlantic. 

    But a tropical system that encounters favorable conditions with low wind shear and high moisture can still develop into a strong hurricane during an El Niño season, according to the AccuWeather report. 

    With over two months left in the current hurricane season, forecasters advise coastal residents to have a plan should a tropical system threaten or strike. 

    The 2015 hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.  

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.