Sept. 10 marks the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, as that's the date when the most tropical storms and hurricanes have roamed the Atlantic Basin in the historical records.
Early to mid-September is the time of year with the most optimal conditions for the formation of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic. This is when sea-surface temperatures reach their warmest levels of the season, upper-level winds in the tropical Atlantic Ocean tend to relax, Saharan dust is less widespread than earlier in the summer, and tropical disturbances frequently roll off the western coast of Africa.
The combination of these factors opens up more real estate for tropical development during the hurricane season's annual peak than at any other point in the year. The map below shows the vast area where tropical storms and hurricanes typically occur in September, which covers much of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
Even though we've reached the climatological peak, roughly 60% of an average Atlantic hurricane season is still remaining from Sept. 10 through the end of the season on Nov. 30.
The period from August through early October tends to produce the most hurricanes and tropical storms in an average year, with September marking the most active month of the Atlantic hurricane season.
The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season
The Atlantic has spawned 13 named storms as of Sept. 10. Two of the most recent ones include Hurricane Idalia, which devastated parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas last week, and Hurricane Lee, which intensified into a major storm on Thursday.
The National Hurricane Center is currently monitoring Margot, which is expected to intensify over the next few days and become a hurricane over the weekend.
According to the NHC, an average season in the Atlantic features an additional six named storms after the Sept. 10 climatological peak. Four of those six typically become hurricanes, with two becoming major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger).