FIRST ALERT: Into the heart of hurricane season - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

FIRST ALERT: Into the heart of hurricane season

Peak of hurricane season Peak of hurricane season
Areas of development in the heart of the season Areas of development in the heart of the season
All hurricanes within 50 miles of Myrtle Beach All hurricanes within 50 miles of Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The next two-and-a-half months mark the most active part of the hurricane season. 

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, and while the formation of a tropical storm or hurricane is possible at any point in the season, August through mid-October is the most active. 

So far this season, five tropical storms have developed in the Atlantic and there has yet to be any hurricanes. The most recent forecasts from hurricane forecasters continue to indicate a slightly more active than normal hurricane season.  

The most recent updated forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls for 11 to 17 named storms. Of those, NOAA is forecasting five to nine to become hurricanes and two to four to become major hurricanes - category 3 or higher. While an active season is likely, it's important not to focus on the total number of storms, but rather where those storms go. 

Tropical activity in the Atlantic usually ramps up quickly in August and September, as water temperatures become warm enough across most of the Atlantic Ocean to support tropical storm and hurricane development.

The most favored areas of development through the heart of the season runs from the Gulf of Mexico to off the Southeast Coast and through the central Atlantic. Large thunderstorm complexes rolling off the African coast also frequently develop into named tropical systems as well. 

The heart of the season is also when our area is most likely to be hit or threatened by a hurricane or tropical storm. 

Hurricane Matthew, which hit last October, was the first significant hurricane to impact our region in quite some time. However, many other notable storms have struck during the peak of the season. 

  • 1874 - Sept. 29 - 75 mph 
  • 1881 - Sept. 9 -105 mph 
  • 1883 - Sept. 11 - 105 mph 
  • 1885 - Aug. 25 - 90 mph 
  • 1893 - Oct. 13 - 115 mph 
  • 1899 - Oct. 31 - 95 mph 
  • 1904 - Sept. 14 - 75 mph 
  • 1906 - Sept. 17 - 90mph 
  • 1913 - Oct. 8 - 75 mph
  • 1916 - July 14 - 80 mph
  • 1944 - Aug. 1 - 75 mph 
  • 1954 - Oct. 15 - Hurricane Hazel, with 130 mph winds and storm surge up to 16 feet
  • 1958 - Sept. 27 - Hurricane Helene passes just east with 90 mph winds 
  • 1984 - Sept. 11 - Hurricane Diana hits just east with 125 mph winds
  • 1989 - Sept. 22 - Hurricane Hugo hit 50 miles to south with 140 mph winds. Grand Strand storm surge reached 12 feet
  • 1996 - Sept. 5 - Hurricane Fran, with 115 mph winds. Hit near Wilmington, but produced flooding and hurricane-force wind gusts in the Grand Strand 
  • 1999 - Sept. 16 - Hurricane Floyd at 115 mph. Passes 45 miles off shore with significant flooding 
  • 2004 - Aug. 14 - Hurricane Charley 75 mph winds
  • 2016 - Oct. 8 - Hurricane Matthew hits with 75 mph winds

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