Is The Atlantic Hurricane Season Finished?

There is a mariner’s poem that attempts to describe the hurricane season that goes like this:

June too soon.
July stand by.
August look out you must.
September remember.
October all over.

The poem was published in “Weather Lore” by R. Inwards in 1898. That description was probably thought to be reasonably accurate over 100 years ago. A publication called “The Deadliest Atlantic Tropical Cyclones, 1492-1996” by Ed Rappaport and Jose Fernandez-Partagas (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdeadly.shtml) states that the last line of the poem may be more ambiguous than helpful. In some Octobers, “all over” seems to describe the spatial distribution rather than a certain cessation of activity.

Today we know that tropical storms and hurricanes can occur in any month of the hurricane season that runs from June through November. South Florida residents certainly remember powerful Hurricane Wilma in October of 2005.

As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

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