At a Glance
- Hurricane season officially ends Monday.
- A subtropical depression or storm could form in the northeast Atlantic in the next day or so.
- The last time the Atlantic had a storm in December was in 2013.
Hurricane season officially ends on Monday, but the Atlantic might produce another depression or named storm as we head into the month of December.
Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. That time frame was selected to encompass 97% of all Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes, according to NOAA's Hurricane Research Division.
A small number of tropical storms and even hurricanes have occurred outside that six-month time period, primarily in May and December, but also in every other month outside of hurricane season.
This December has a chance to start out with a subtropical depression or storm in the far northeast Atlantic.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has highlighted a non-tropical low-pressure system located to the north of the Canary Islands for the possibility of development. This low could slowly gain subtropical characteristics according to the NHC.
If it were to become a subtropical storm, then it would be named Kappa.
A subtropical depression or storm exhibits features of both tropical and non-tropical systems. The NHC issues advisories and forecasts for subtropical depressions and storms. They are assigned a number or name, just like a tropical depression or storm.
According to NOAA's Best Track Database, 10 storms have formed in December from 1950 through 2019.
The last time the Atlantic had a storm in the month of December was in 2013, when an unnamed subtropical storm formed in the northeast Atlantic during the month's first week.
The Atlantic has already produced 30 named storms in 2020, shattering the previous record of 28 storms set in 2005.
The 2005 season produced its final named storm, Zeta, at the end of December. Zeta then lasted into the first few days of January 2006.
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.