Hurricane Season Is Not Over Yet: Tropical Storm Sebastien Is Roaming the Atlantic But Poses No Threat to Land

weather.com meteorologists
Published: November 20, 2019

Tropical Storm Sebastien is forecast to strengthen in the central Atlantic, but it remains no threat to any land areas.

Sebastien is currently centered more than 250 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, moving northward.

The tropical storm will turn northeastward over the next day or so, keeping the system far from any land areas.


Storm Info and Projected Path

Some additional strengthening is forecast into Thursday as Sebastien curls farther out to sea. It is possible that Sebastien could briefly become a hurricane-strength system as it accelerates northeastward.

Sebastien should be absorbed by a cold front moving through the North Atlantic Ocean on Friday.

The Atlantic has now had 18 named storms in the 2019 hurricane season. The last time 18 or more named storms formed in a season was 2012.

It's Not Too Late

With Thanksgiving next week, it may sound weird to be discussing tropical development this late in the season, especially given the record cold and snow this fall in parts of the nation.

(MORE: Seven Crazy Things We've Seen This Hurricane Season

But this isn't unusual, and it's happened a number of times this century.

Roughly 3% of an average Atlantic hurricane season's activity occurs after Nov. 18, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, tropical scientist at Colorado State University.

Since 1950, 24 tropical or subtropical storms have developed in the Atlantic Basin from Nov. 19 through New Year's Eve, according to NOAA's best track database. That's an average of one such late-developing storm roughly every three years.

The map of those storms shows a common corridor through the central Atlantic Ocean north of Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands, similar to the location of Sebastien.

Tracks of all Atlantic storms since 1950 that formed from Nov. 19 through Dec. 31.

Eight of those post-Nov. 18 storms formed this century. The most recent was Olga in mid-December 2007.

The record-smashing 2005 hurricane season's three final named storms – Delta, Epsilon and Zeta – each formed after Nov. 18. Tropical storms Odette and Peter ended the 2003 season in early December.

Not every storm this late in the season stays out to sea.

On Thanksgiving Day 2016, Hurricane Otto made landfall near the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border at Category 3 intensity. Otto was the latest-in-season Atlantic Basin hurricane landfall on record and the first known hurricane to track over Costa Rica.

In 1985, Hurricane Kate became the latest-in-season U.S. hurricane landfall on record. It plowed ashore at Mexico Beach, Florida, on Nov. 21.

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.


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.