Atlantic hasn’t been this busy with tropical cyclones in 49 years

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A record-setting hurricane season continues with another jaw-dropping fact: Monday marked the first time since 1971 that we’ve had five tropical depressions active in the Atlantic at once.

According to hurricane expert and historian Philip Klotzbach of Colorado State University, the only other time the Atlantic was that busy in recorded history was in September of 1971.

Back 49 years ago there actually were six storms measured at a tropical depression or greater. Today, we’re looking at five:

  • Tropical Storm Sally
  • Hurricane Paulette
  • Tropical Depression Rene
  • Tropical Storm Teddy
  • Tropical Depression 21

Klotzbach also points out that Sally is forecasted to strengthen into a hurricane tonight, which would make it the seventh hurricane of the season. “Only 6 years on record have had 7+ hurricanes by September 14: 1886, 1893, 1933, 1995, 2005 and 2012,” he says.

As Local 10 Hurricane Specialist Bryan Norcross points out, if Tropical Depression 21 grows into a tropical storm it would be named Vicky, leaving just one name left on the list (Wilfred) before we have to start with the Greek alphabet like in 2005. (There are no "U" names, nor "Q", "X", "Y", or "Z" names.)

Thankfully, Norcross also points out that “even with all these systems running around, no tropical threats to South Florida are expected to develop this week.”

For the latest forecast information in South Florida, see the Local 10 Weather Authority Page.


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