Hurricane Season 2013: Off and Running - KMSP-TV

Hurricane Season 2013: Off and Running

Posted: Updated:
Meteorologist Steve Frazier Meteorologist Steve Frazier

We have had a lot on our weather plate lately. Who can forget the recent storms with their strong winds and heavy rains? It's not just the upper Midwest that is in the grips of its severe weather season, the hurricane season is well on its way as well. Hurricane season runs from June through November, the warmest months for the coastal regions. Since these storms thrive over warm water, these months lend the great environment for storm formation. As of today, we have not had a hurricane form, but we are on our third tropical storm. First there was Andrea, followed by Barry, and now Chantal. Chantal is not expected to become a hurricane, but is expected to produce some heavy rains across Florida and other parts of the southeast.

Below are some more graphics indicating the path and expected weather conditions of now tropical storm Chantal.

Hurricanes are like heat engines that feed on warm moist air, usually near the equator. The warm air rises and leaves a void for new air to rush in and fill. This new air also heats and rises, and so on, and so on. The low pressure will eventually become a tropical depression and eventually a tropical storm.


 A tropical storm has sustained winds of 39 mph. If a tropical storm continues to strengthen, and the winds reach 74 mph, then it becomes a hurricane and earns a ranking on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This is a scale used to classify hurricanes into categories according to their wind speeds. If the conditions are favorable, the hurricane continues to grow. Favorable conditions include no shearing winds aloft, no dry air feeding into the storm and warm water temps below. As you can see from the scale below the hurricane will continue to grow and grow.

Category One Hurricane: Sustained winds 74-95 mph

Category Two Hurricane: Sustained winds 96-110 mph

Category Three Hurricane: Sustained winds 111-129 mph

Category Four Hurricane: Sustained winds 130-156mph

Category Five Hurricane: Sustained winds greater than 156 mph


2013 Atlantic Storms Names























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