ABC13 Weather U: Why October is the unofficial end of the Texas hurricane season

Nov. 30 is the official end of the Atlantic hurricane season, but the Texas hurricane season normally ends more than a month earlier.

Chief Meteorologist Travis Herzog says Oct. 15 is the "unofficial" end of the Texas hurricane season, and it's because of a seasonal shift in the steering wind patterns as we transition from summer to fall.

By October, the jet stream winds grow stronger and migrate south toward the Gulf coast, pushing fall fronts through Texas. The same steering winds that push the fronts into the Gulf of Mexico usually push developing storms away from Texas and toward Florida. The cold fronts also cool off the warm Gulf waters and increase wind shear that can tear apart tropical systems and prevent them from developing in the first place.

There have only been a handful of named storms to make landfall in Texas during October, the most recent being Hurricane Jerry in 1989. On Oct. 15 of that year, Jerry made landfall along Galveston Island as a small Category 1 hurricane with wind gusts up to 100 mph. Jerry is also the latest hurricane on record to make a Texas landfall, which is why we normally declare the Texas hurricane season to be over by mid-October.

Follow Travis Herzog on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Fill out the form below if you would like to suggest a topic for our weather team to cover.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.