Why are there more hurricanes in the fall than other times of the year?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Why are there more hurricanes in the fall than other times of the year?
—A. Sorvider, Chicago
Dear A.,
Tropical cyclones affect coastal areas of the world at different times of the year. Hurricanes that affect the East and Gulf coasts of the United States are spawned in the North Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 through Nov. 30, but the prime time is mid August through October. Weather conditions then are most conducive to hurricane development. A warm sea surface temperature (80 degrees or higher) is most important, but other factors include a tropical atmosphere in which thunderstorms thrive, and little or no change in wind direction or speed at all altitudes in the atmosphere. The most likely time for a hurricane to affect the U.S.: the Labor Day Weekend.

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