A satellite image of Chris and Beryl on July 9, 2018. (NOAA GOES)
NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Until recently, the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season has been relatively quiet. In August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reduced the number of predicted storms for this season from 13 to 11. (In July, Colorado State University forecasted a below-average season.)
"It's now a 60 percent probability of a below-normal season," said Melissa Di Spigna, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. But she said don't put down your guard just yet.
"We're now getting into September," she said. "Just because we had the slow start doesn't mean that we can't see more storms developing."
Hurricanes are fueled by the warm water in the Atlantic Ocean. It takes much of the summer for that warming to happen.
"We see kind of a delay from warmer temperatures in the summer that we're feeling versus how fast the ocean is warming," Di Spigna said. "So September 10th is the peak of the season. Those temperatures will stay warm until at least the end of October."
All eyes are now on Tropical Strom Gordon, which is currently moving through the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico. Gordon is forecast to become a hurricane before making landfall along the Gulf Coast.
And Florence has now become the third hurricane of the season.
"Right now the projections are that that continues to move east into the ocean," Di Spigna said. "But things can always change so we need to monitor every storm that happens closely."
Di Spigna said that the New York area still has the potential to get hurricanes into October, so we should all be prepared.
"It's never too early to start developing a plan. You can reach out to your insurance companies and check your coverage," Di Spigna said. "Start preparing your property by trimming any loose tree branches, securing loose objects. Develop an evacuation plan—figure out where you're going to go if someone tells you to leave. And assemble an evacuation kit."