TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The tropics have been active lately and First Alert Chief Meteorologist Casanova Nurse explained why hurricanes are more likely to form closer to home this time of year.
History and climatology tell us the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico are hotbeds of tropical action in the month of October.
The waters in the region don't quickly cool down with the change of seasons. Absent any tropical systems, surface water temperatures linger in the low to mid 80s. Under ideal atmospheric conditions, blobs of moisture can gather around developing low pressure and become a late-season nuisance.
Since 1900, 66 hurricanes have formed in the Caribbean in October, most of them getting their start in the western half of the sea.
Many of these disturbances tend to move north, sliding around a high-pressure zone typically in the Atlantic Ocean, and deflected northeastward by early-fall cold fronts sweeping into the Southeastern U.S.
But when cold fronts are late in arriving, tropical troubles can sneak deeper into the northern Gulf, putting the gorgeous Florida beaches at higher risk for late-season hurricane harassment.