Science | October 14, 2017 5:00 am

10 Atlantic Hurricanes So Far This Year, the Most Since 1893

Meteorologists said that hurricane season lasts through the end of October.

Hurricane Maria
Trees are toppled in a parking lot at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 20, 2017, during the passage of the Hurricane Maria. Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico on Wednesday, pummeling the US territory after already killing at least two people on its passage through the Caribbean. The US National Hurricane Center warned of "large and destructive waves" as Maria came ashore near Yabucoa on the southeast coast. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Tropical storm Ophelia strengthened into a hurricane on Wednesday, making it the 10th Atlantic storm in a row to reach hurricane strength. This is the first time since 1893 that this has happened, reports Time

Ophelia isn’t expected to hit the U.S., and many of the other 10 hurricanes did not touch down on the mainland either. But Harvey, Irma and Maria did, leaving dozens dead and billions of dollars in damage. And hurricane season isn’t over yet, Time reports, so there is potential for more destruction through the end of October.

No major hurricane, which is a Category 3 storm or stronger with sustained winds of at least 111 mph according to Time, had made landfall in the U.S. since 2005. So what causes such strong storm seasons?

Time writes that the presence of El Niño and other climate factors affect the storm season, but scientists also say that climate change is making storms more severe. Why? Because warmer ocean water helps storms strengthen, according to Time. 

Gabriel Vecchi, a professor of geosciences at Princeton University, told Time that a “warmer ocean makes a warmer atmosphere. A warmer atmosphere can hold more water.”