The formation of Tropical Storm Ophelia in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean makes it 15 named storms during this very active Atlantic hurricane season. State Climatologist Barry Keim says 2005, the year Katrina struck New Orleans, is still the highest recorded year for activity.
"They had more storms than any other season. They had 19 named storms at this point and they ended the season with 28 named storms. That's the busiest year on record."
This is currently the sixth most active hurricane season and the busiest since 2012. Why has this season been so active? Keim explains it has to do with water surface temperatures.
"We had very warm sea surface temperatures over the breeding grounds and that feeds the energy into the storms. Then we had no El Nino in place, very low wind shear in the upper part of the atmosphere. So those two ingredients lead to very busy years", Keim said.
There have been three landfalls of named storms on Louisiana’s coast line. Tropical Storm Cindy in June, Hurricane Harvey in August and Hurricane Nate crossed over Plaquemines Parish on Saturday. Keim says Nate didn’t do much damage in Louisiana, but it was one of fastest storms to ever cross the Gulf of Mexico at 25-miles-per-hour.
"The storms tend to start migrating more northward to get caught up in what we call the westerly circulation and their forward velocity accelerate."
Tropical Storm Ophelia is moving away from the U.S.