By the middle of October many folks are wondering whether the hurricane season is over.
This year has been active in the tropics. So far we've seen 13 named storms across the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. North Carolina has been generally unscathed by the storms thus far although Tropical Storm Hanna did bring wind gusts near hurricane force during the first week of September. Gulf coastal residents have not been as lucky this year as Gustav and Ike have shown us. The big question is whether or not the season is over for us. North Carolina usually doesn't have to worry about tropical systems after mid-October but could this be a different kind of year. The current weather pattern suggests tropical development could happen in the Caribbean Sea by next week. Many of those storms head into the Gulf of Mexico or Central America and do not impact our weather. It is still well to keep in mind that Hurricane Hazel hit Eastern North Carolina on October 15, 1954 and brought the strongest winds in the last 60 years to nearly all of our area. I don't think its time to let our guard down yet.
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