Where have all the tropical cyclones gone?
By Andrea Thompson, Climate Central
After several weeks of hurricanes setting records left and right, the ocean basins of the world have gone quiet: There are no tropical cyclones anywhere around the globe right now.
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) November 12, 2015
That’s not necessarily unusual for this time of year, as temperatures dip in the Northern Hemisphere and conditions become less conducive for such storms to form in many areas. But compared to the last month, the shift is like a meteorological record scratch.
The most recent storm was Hurricane Kate, which became a hurricane just Wednesday — the latest-forming hurricane in the Atlantic since the blockbuster season of 2005. While Kate is still out there, chugging across the ocean, it has transitioned to an extratropical storm, which means there are different forces fueling its winds and rains.
The world also just saw the stunning 1-2 punch of cyclones hitting Yemen, an unprecedented occurrence in records going back to 1990. The first of those, Chapala, was actually the first hurricane-strength storm ever to hit the arid country.
And before that was Hurricane Patricia, which had the highest wind speeds ever directly measured in a tropical cyclone, clocking in at 200 mph. So it’s truly been quite a recent run of storms.
But now that activity is tailing off in many basins, including the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific. The West Pacific could still see storms, as they can pop up any time of year in that basin, though it’s less likely now than in the warmer months. In fact, it’s been almost three weeks since the last storm in that region.
The southern Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific tend to be picking up about now, as they are in the opposite hemisphere and entering summer, but the global peak of activity has now passed.