Homeowner's Academy

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When Is Peak Hurricane Season?

by PTI Marketing | Jul 15, 2019

Updated September 16, 2020.

Map of Direct Hurricane Hits on US MainlandAccording to the National Weather Service, peak hurricane season runs August through October, meaning most hurricanes hit during this period. A whopping 96 percent of major hurricanes occur throughout this time. And of all the hurricanes that make U.S. landfall, 40 percent hit the state of Florida. That's why being prepared during this time is critical, especially for Floridians.

In fact, Florida has been hit by more hurricanes than any other state. Since 1851, only 18 hurricane seasons have passed without a known storm impacting the state. To help get fully prepared, download our essential 2020 Hurricane Preparedness Guide to ensure you, your family, and your home stays as safe as possible.

Ripe Conditions for Hurricanes

Ocean water temperature and wind shear have the most significant impact on hurricanes. As summer stretches on, the combination of sunny days, warmer air temperatures, and more moisture in the air cause water temperatures to rise, increasing the chance of a hurricane forming.

Wind shear, meanwhile, is the most critical factor in controlling hurricane formation. It hurts tropical cyclones by removing the heat and moisture they need to form. Wind shear also distorts a hurricane's shape by blowing the top away from the lower portion of the hurricane. Wind shear is strong at the beginning of hurricane season, but as the season goes on, it starts to weaken, reaching a minimum by mid-August. Without wind shear, the opportunity of a hurricane forming is enhanced dramatically.

The combination of warm ocean waters and no wind shear creates ripe conditions for hurricanes.

Know Your State

Florida gets hit with more hurricanes than any other state. As you can see in the picture below, over 100 hurricanes have hit Florida since 1851, almost double the major storms that hit Texas, the runner-up. There is no question that living in the Sunshine State is risky during hurricane season, so Floridians need to be protected with the right homeowner’s insurance.

Past Hurricanes in Florida

Hurricanes can cost billions in damages. Hurricane Michael caused an estimated $35.1 billion in damages when it struck Florida in 2018. Hurricane Irma, which hit the state in 2017, caused $50 billion in damages and is the costliest hurricane to strike Florida to date. It is also the fifth costliest in the country. The 21st century ushered in some pretty destructive hurricanes. In 2004, four major hurricanes hit Florida; Hurricanes Charley (August 13), Frances (September 5), Ivan (September 16), and Jeanne (September 25).

The following year, 2005, saw three major hurricanes:

  • Hurricane Katrina (August 25, 2005)
  • Hurricane Rita (September 24, 2005)
  • Hurricane Wilma (October 24, 2005)

Then, after over a decade of little hurricane activity, three big hurricanes hit in 2017—Harvey (August 25), Irma (August 30), and Maria (September 16).

Each hurricane mentioned landed during the peak of hurricane season.

Always Be Prepared

Even though it is more probable a hurricane will form during the peak of hurricane season, it is not guaranteed; a storm could strike at any time. Hurricanes and tropical storms also have the potential to produce heavy rainfall, which can lead to flooding. And many homeowners don't realize their policies don't even cover flooding—until it’s too late. We answer some of the most common flood insurance questions here.

How to Get Prepared

Keeping your home safe is critical in case the inevitable happens. Use our 2020 Hurricane Preparedness Guide to help make preparations easier. It offers valuable tips and recommendations and essential checklists and forms to help you prepare for peak hurricane season. It includes an emergency kit checklist, critical documents to print, and tips on how to ride out a storm at home instead of evacuating.

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