There seems to be a little bit of misunderstanding going on about hurricane season. Many, it seems, think hurricane season ends today. However, hurricane season goes through November 30. 

In fact, we’ve seen at least a tropical storm form in every month of the year. However, by far, the majority of Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico tropical storms and hurricanes form from June through November.

Weather records show 99 tropical storms and 47 hurricanes developing in the month of November. Of those storms, five made U.S. landfall as hurricanes. 

One of the most unforgettable November hurricanes for Florida was Hurricane Kate in 1985. This was the final tropical cyclone of the season to impact the U.S., and it made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida on Nov. 21, just one week before Thanksgiving. It is the latest hurricane, in any calendar year, to strike the country at hurricane intensity on record. 

Kate was a pretty wild storm.  It was the eleventh named storm, seventh hurricane, and third major hurricane of the season. Kate originated from the interaction of an upper-level trough and tropical wave northeast of Puerto Rico on Nov. 15. The storm quickly intensified into a hurricane the next day on Nov. 16, and to Category 2 intensity just three days later.

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Kate would move through the southeastern Bahamas as a Category 1 hurricane on the night of Nov. 17-18. It then grazed the northern coast of Cuba on Nov. 19, producing gusts as high as 105 mph. Kate remained a hurricane as it emerged into the Florida Straits, passing within 85 miles of Key West, eventually curving northwest into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. That’s where it intensified even further, becoming a Category 3 hurricane with top sustained winds of 120 mph.

Kate then made its path into the Florida Panhandle, where it made that landfall near Mexico Beach on Nov. 21, as a minimal Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 100 mph. It was the sixth hurricane to make landfall on the U.S. mainland in 1985. The storm downed many trees and causing extensive power outages. Flooding caused water damage all the way up into Georgia.

Since 1950, there have been 36 named storms in the Atlantic Basin. Twenty-one of those have been hurricanes. If you average this out, you can expect one named storm every other November. This would also bring a November hurricane about every three years.

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