The leaves are falling across Alabama and we’ve already hadour fair share of colder temperatures. Despite the changes, the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season is not over. Let me first say that there are no tropical systems threatening Alabama and the chance of a tropical cyclone making a landfall in our state is very low at this time. The last November system to impact our state was back in 2009 when Tropical Storm Ida made a landfall at Dauphin Island.
The chance of a major tropical system impacting our state in November is usually low but that doesn’t mean a major system can never threaten. If there is one thing I’ve learned while covering weather in Alabama it’s that favorable conditions can lead to extreme weather during unexpected times of the year. I can name several examples including the surprise snow storm of October 1997, Tornado Outbreak in August 2005, and a March Blizzard in 1993.
Typically in November the sea-surface temperatures are cooler and upper level winds become more active. These conditions are not favorable for tropical development therefore we often see a decrease in development with the season ending on November 30th.
The latest tropical storm on record was Zeta on 30 December 2005 and the latest hurricane on record was Alice which developed at midnight on 30 December 1954. Two of the stronger named November hurricanes on record are Lenny and Michelle. Lenny developed over the western Caribbean and was very unique in that it tracked from west to east. At one point maximum sustained winds with Lenny reached 155 mph but the system did weaken slightly (125 mph) as the eye moved over St. Martin. Hurricane Michelle was the strongest hurricane of the 2001 season reaching peak intensity on November 3rd as a Category 4. The system later made a landfall in Cuba on November 4th as a Category 4.
One trend with late season systems is that the westerly flow often turns the cyclones northward and northwest. This was the case with the track of a hurricane that struck Tampa Florida in November 30th, 1925. This hurricane occurred before names were applied and ended up being the latest hurricane on record to make a U.S. landfall.
You can find out more information and updates about the 2013 Hurricane Season by visiting our Hurricane Season page at http://www.myfoxal.com/category/213714/hurricane-season
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt