Climatology

of Caribbean Hurricanes

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Points of Origin 1944-2010

History can tell us where we should look for hurricane development. This changes month by month. Normally tropical systems can only form and/or sustain themselves when the sea surface temperature is higher than 28C/82F. Early in the season the central Atlantic is still too cold, therefore no tropical systems usually form in that area. The Gulf of Mexico is already pretty warm however, so we have to closely watch that area in June. Later on in the season storms start to develop more and more east in the central Atlantic.
At the bottom of the page you can see a plot of the current sea surface temperature. Handy for when you want to check if the waters are warm enough yet for development, or if the waters ahead of an already formed tropical system are warmer (intensification) or colder (weakening).
The plots below are based on data from 1944-2010. There is data available back to 1851. However, 1944 is generally regarded as the start of accurate observations because then aircraft reconnaissance flights began and later on satellite observations were added (it is difficult to determine where in the middle of the ocean a storm first developed without satellites or reconnaissance flights). I did run the analyses on the complete dataset though, and can be found on a separate page, but keep the above in mind.

J a n u a r y

F e b r u a r y

M a r c h

A p r i l

M a y

J u n e

J u l y

A u g u s t

S e p t e m b e r

O c t o b e r

N o v e m b e r

D e c e m b e r

Hurricane Season (Jun-Nov)

Whole Year (Jan-Dec)

Sea Surface Temperature
Source: Weather Underground

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