Hurricane Season

Braden Danise, Staff Writer

As hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean nears its end, North American countries have been heavily impacted; there has been billions of dollars of damage and hundreds of human lives lost.

Hurricane season, the time period when hurricanes and tropical storms are most likely to form, lasts from June 1st to November 30th in the Atlantic Ocean. According to the book In the Path of America’s Deadliest Storms: Hurricane Force, there are a few reasons why they form during these months: “Hurricanes get going in areas of low atmospheric pressure, they need warm water to fuel their massive engines, and they depend upon certain favorable wind conditions.” Hurricanes are most likely to form between June 1st and November 30th because that is when these conditions tend to occur.

In the hurricane season of 2018, there has been no shortage of the storms. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is an average of twelve tropical storms and six hurricanes per year. During the hurricane season of 2018, there have been eight tropical storms and six hurricanes. With a month still remaining before the end of hurricane season, it is probable that both of those numbers will increase.

According to NOAA, the estimated annual cost of hurricane damage in the United States is between 25-30 million dollars. The hurricane damage cost in 2018 is expected to be somewhere near that number, but cannot be accurately calculated yet as some storms are ongoing. According to CNN, Hurricane Florence, the largest hurricane of the year, caused over 13 billion dollars in damage. Hurricane Michael, which hit Florida in October, caused an estimated eight billion dollars in damage. The rest of the storms did not reach a billion dollars in damages, but they each did tens or hundreds of millions in damage.

Along with substantial monetary cost came substantial human loss. It is difficult to know the exact number of casualties because homeless people are often among the victims; other times, people disappear during hurricanes and are never reported missing. According to The Washington Post, the total number of fatalities during the 2018 hurricane season so far is between 130 and 155.

With hurricane season coming to a close this month, damage costs and number of fatalities may not rise much higher; however, this year’s hurricane season demonstrates just how dangerous the powerful storms can be.