Why the tropics are about to really heat up


HOUSTON – You may have noticed the spike in Atlantic Ocean tropical activity recently.

We've had Tropical Storm Fiona the past week and are watching two other systems now, including Tropical Depression 7 which certainly will become Gaston in the next day.

In fact, Sept. 10 is the "most likely" day of the whole season to have an active tropical system in the Atlantic basin, which puts the most active part of the hurricane season in our sights.

From Aug. 15 to Oct. 15 we always see a huge flare-up of tropical storms and hurricanes. To be sure, the activity spikes to bring out 78 percent of all tropical storm days, 87 percent of the category 1 and 2 hurricane days, and 96 percent of the major hurricane days.

The reasons for the increase? Winds that tear storms apart are strongest in the early part of the season, relaxing toward mid-August. In addition, it's simply warmer out there.

Ocean temperatures increase with each day of summer's sun, air temperatures are warmer and the atmosphere's moisture goes up.

By mid-October, the stronger winds tend to kick back in as winter approaches, and the water and air temperatures likewise cool down.

The bottom line is that we really must stay tuned to the tropics for the next several weeks and keep our fingers crossed that the brunt of the season stays out over water.

Track the tropics by downloading the FREE KPRC 2 Hurricane Tracker app:

Tropical Storms and Hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin | WeatherDB

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