WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Tropical Storm Eta was a reminder that hurricane season is not officially over until Nov. 30, and even then, what actually marks the end of a season?
Storms passed through West Palm Beach on Sunday, causing a tree to fall on a homeowner’s car. Now many people picking up the debris and cleaning up after Eta are hoping they can breathe a sigh of relief until next year’s hurricane season.
Many people may have expected more damage from Tropical Storm Eta, but its strong winds and heavy rain did cause quite a mess for thousands of Floridians, many of whom lost power because of the storm.
"A lot of people underestimate the power of a tropical storm because the winds are somewhat lower speed than a hurricane," said Bryan Garner with FPL. "But however, this is a very messy storm. As I mentioned, this is a storm that’s widespread with high winds extended 300 miles from the center."
FPL had crews working to restore power in between breaks from outer bands of the storm.
By Monday morning, FPL said 90% of customers were fully restored and likely hoping it’s the last storm of the season.
"It's rare that we do get a November storm, but there have been November storms in the past," said WPTV First Alert Meteorologist James Wieland. "In fact, we’ve had a Cat 2 hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle back in 1985 on November 21st, so that’s almost the week of Thanksgiving there."
Wieland there’s still activity to watch out for in the tropics, but as we get closer to the end of the season, conditions become less favorable for these storms to make landfall on our coasts.
"For us and a lot of the Gulf Coast and the Mid-Atlantic coast, the water temperatures just get way too cold the later in November," Wieland said. "A hurricane needs 80 degree water temperature. Our waters dip below 80 degrees when we get into late November, so any hurricanes that do form are down to the south where the water temperatures are warmer, by the time they make it up the north, they start to weaken."