Tracking the Tropics: Can Cold Fronts Become Tropical Systems?

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The tropics are slowing down as we near the end of October and the weather is starting to cool, but the 2022 hurricane season is still more than a month away.

The United States has not had a tropical cyclone make landfall since Hurricane Ian hit Florida and later South Carolina.

Now, three weeks after Ian, much of the East Coast is facing a surge of colder air. Many Floridians woke up to temperatures in the 50s and 60s on Wednesday, thanks to a cold front moving through Tuesday.

While the cooler air may make it easier for those living on the East and Gulf Coasts to forget about hurricane season, it’s important to remember that the season doesn’t end until November 30th. A calm pool right now doesn’t mean we couldn’t see another storm develop from one of the cold fronts moving down the Gulf of Mexico or along the mid-Atlantic coast.

“The remnants of the polar front can become lines of convection and occasionally create a tropical cyclone,” the National Weather Service said. “In storms in the Atlantic Ocean, that will happen early or late in the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean.”

The current front affecting the United States does not appear to be favorable for any type of tropical organization. But even though this is rare, it does not mean that future fronts are out of the question.

“We’ve seen fronts break away from tropical systems as they enter the Atlantic, but that doesn’t seem likely with this system,” said WFLA meteorologist Rebecca Barry. “Fronts tend to direct all existing tropical systems away from the US coast”

Barry added that we may not see another hurricane storm this season.

“Since 1950, we’ve had 53 hurricanes after Oct. 1. That’s an average of 0.746 hurricanes per season after Oct. 1, so it’s entirely possible we won’t see another hurricane this season,” she said.

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