As the strongest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history continues to wreak havoc in the Caribbean, two more threats have emerged in the form of hurricanes Jose and Katia. Though it’s unusual for three hurricanes to be active in the Atlantic basin at the same time, it’s not without precedent.
Earlier this year, scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an active hurricane season—and it’s starting to become clear that they were spot on. The latest two cyclones, Jose and Katia, are now the 10th and 11th storms to be named in the Atlantic in 2017, and there are still eight tortuous weeks left in the official hurricane season.
Three simultaneous hurricanes in the Atlantic basin may seem extreme, but it happens about once every ten years. “Three or more hurricanes have occurred simultaneously in the following years in the Atlantic (in the satellite era): 1967, 1980, 1995, 1998, 2010 and now in 2017,” said Jeff Masters, a meteorologist with Weather Underground, in an email to Gizmodo.