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November marks final month of 2016 Atlantic hurricane season; will more storms brew?

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As the calendar flips over to November, the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will enter its final month. The big question is, will there be anymore brewing storms across the basin?

Up to this point, the season has been rather active. A total of 14 named-storms have formed, putting this season above the average of 12. Of those 12, six went on to become hurricanes, three of them reaching major hurricane status. Both of those numbers are typical for the season.

While the Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, the season on average features the most activity between late August and the end of September and declines afterwards.

"As we head into November, historically the likelihood of tropical cyclone formation drops significantly," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said.

The tropics have indeed turned quiet as of late. The last system to form was Hurricane Nicole back on October 4.

There are several reasons for a decline in tropical activity late in the season.

"Lowering water temperatures and significantly higher wind shear across the Atlantic are two major factors for a decrease in development in November," Vallee said.

Wind shear refers to the changing speed and direction of the wind with height. Strong winds aloft can disrupt and prevent storms from organizing.

The jet stream, a river of fast moving air high in the atmosphere, begins to descend farther south during the autumn months and leads to increased wind shear across portions of the Atlantic basin, especially the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast.

This tends to push the development zone farther south and east away from the United States.

"The most common areas of development are in the Caribbean and out in the central Atlantic," Vallee said.

These areas, and the rest of the Atlantic basin, are quiet as of now and will likely remain that way through at least next week.

"There are no tropical systems at this time but there are a few features we are watching," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mike Doll said.

One of these features is an area of low pressure north of Puerto Rico. It will remain nearly-stationary early this week before it tracks northeastward away from land.

"The chance of this feature becoming a tropical system is very low," Doll said.

The other feature, another area of low pressure, is southwest of Grand Cayman Island and is very disorganized. It will likely not pose any threat for further development.

Wind shear is expected to remain high this week across the typical breeding grounds which will hinder any possible development with passing tropical waves. This will likely remain a common issue through the rest of the month.

However, the disruptive shear can relax for a short amount of time and if that does occur, a system could quickly develop.

"Water temperatures are above normal in the Caribbean and Atlantic, so the threat for some formation remains possible through the end of the hurricane season," Vallee said.

If a feature can organize and become a named storm, the next name on the list is Otto.

A strong tropical system this November would not be unprecedented. Hurricane Kate in 1985 and Hurricane Lenny in 1999 are two examples of late-season hurricanes that formed during the middle of November. Both systems reached major hurricane status.