Tracking the Tropics: Leslie still no threat to land, all eyes now on Caribbean

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Tropical Storm Leslie is still spinning in the open Atlantic this morning, but even as it gains strength, it is of no threat to land.

 

Leslie is moving off to the southwest this morning, and as it does so, will gradually start to gain strength and develop into a weak hurricane by tomorrow. It won't continue it's southward progression for long, however. Eventually, steering flows will direct it back off to the north, making it's path a mess, but continuing to move away from land.

 

 

The peak of the hurricane season was last month, but in south Florida, October can have more impacts than September. October historically brings in more landfalling tropical cyclones to south Florida than any other month in hurricane season.

 

What you see above in orange is the area where tropical cyclones are more likely to develop during October. Waves that develop in the western Caribbean tend to move north and then curve off to the east, bringing an almost direct impact to south Florida.

While there are currently *no active* areas in the Caribbean, we monitor this area closely, because we have experienced significant hurricanes just within recent history, that developed in the western Caribbean and moved our way.

 

More than 20 hurricanes have either made landfall or passed close enough to South Florida to create major impacts since 1859, the three that you see in the graphic above either had direct impacts on Southwest Florida, or they are the most recent.

Hurricane Hazel made landfall as a Category 1 on October 9, 1953, on the north end of Captiva before continuing to move over the north end of Pine Island and then onto Lee and Charlotte Counties.

A bit more recent in history was Hurricane Wilma, which holds the record for having the lowest central pressure out of any storm in the Atlantic basin. While it first made landfall near Cozumel, Mexico as a Category 4 on October 21, it curved back to the east and made landfall just south of Marco Island, Florida as a Category 3 on October 24, 2005.

Finally, nearly two years ago, Hurricane Matthew developed in the Caribbean and took a different path through the Bahamas during the first week of October. While Matthew did not make landfall on Florida, it brought significant impacts to the east coast of the state.

The point of this is always to be weather-aware, even as we approach the last few months of hurricane season. You can count on the NBC2 Hurricane Tracking Team to keep you updated on the latest tropical information.

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