Cause behind string of Atlantic hurricanes

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PUERTO RICO - One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit Puerto Rico made landfall Wednesday, uprooting trees and peeling off roofs.

“I spoke to a couple of people in bars and clubs and they're saying in 85 years, this is going to be the worst,” said Puerto Rico business owner Paul Wiggins.

Before Puerto Rico, Maria’s unwelcomed visit to the small Caribbean island of Dominica shredded buildings into piles of splinters.

Already this year, when one hurricane blows through, it seems another one is right on its heels.

“Over the entire year we average 12 hurricanes, 12 named storms and 6 major hurricanes. So far this year, we’ve had 13 named storms and 7 hurricanes, so above average” said NOAA meteorologist Adam Jones.

So what’s causing this wild weather? And more importantly, is this the new normal?

“This year its above average due to the warmer than average sea temperatures, and more storms coming off the west coast of Africa” said Jones.

He says another factor that made this season particularly bad is weak oceanic wind shear.

Wind shear acts to stir up a storm, and break apart some of the main mechanics that keep that hurricane going.

As for this being the new normal, Jones says we’ll have to wait until next year to see.

“I’m thankful I live in North Dakota and not Florida, you know?” said Jones.

The national weather service says we're already above average for hurricanes this year, and the season isn't even over.

We're expected to be in the clear by the end of November.