The vast majority of hurricanes develop from disturbances that blow off the west coast of Africa on the prevailing winds. They form into low pressure systems and storms as they cross the tropical Atlantic into the warmer waters around the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
But this season, six storms — Arthur, Bertha, Fay, Omar, Isaias and Sally — either formed or strengthened in the coastal region between Florida and the Carolinas. Four of them had nontropical origins:
Tropical storms Arthur and Bertha both formed in May, before the official June start of the Atlantic hurricane season, off the Florida and South Carolina coasts.
Tropical storms Fay (July 9) and the short-lived Omar (Sept. 1) both formed off the North Carolina coast.
Meanwhile, hurricanes Isaias (July 30) and Sally (Sept. 14) were the remnants of African waves that strengthened in the warm waters just south of Florida before taking their