2015 could set a new record for Category 4 and 5 hurricanes and typhoons
The number of hurricanes or typhoons that have reached Category 4 or 5 strength in the Northern Hemisphere this year is closing in on a record set just over a decade ago.
Following a trio of Category 4 hurricanes at the same time during the final weekend of August, we've now seen 15 storms of Category 4 or 5 strength in the Northern Hemisphere so far in 2015. This is just three shy of the current Northern Hemisphere record of 18 set in 2004,according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University and blogger for wunderground.com. For perspective, an average of 12.5 Category 4 or 5 storms have been recorded during the 1990-2014 period, Klotzbach added.
SEE ALSO: Rand Paul says employed people don't have time for heroin
All of the typhoons or hurricanes in 2015 that have maxed out at Category 4 or 5 strength have been in the western, central or eastern Pacific basins. The strongest hurricane in the Atlantic so far this year was Category 3 Danny.
This is different than 2004, which had four hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan and Karl) contribute to the aforementioned Northern Hemisphere record of 18 Category 4 or 5 storms in a calendar year.
Check out photos of hurricanes from space:
Only time will tell, but with the Pacific remaining active, and all of September and October to go in the Atlantic, we could at least tie that 2004 record of 18 Category 4 or 5 storms in a year.
Last year after Sept. 1, we saw two additional Category 4 hurricanes in the eastern Pacific and one in the Atlantic. Meanwhile, the western Pacific saw another four Category 4 or 5 hurricanes after that date. That's a combined total of seven Category 4 or 5 tropical cyclones in September and beyond in 2014.
El Niño is likely playing a role in the very active Pacific that we've seen so far this year, partially by reducing the amount of wind shear in the central and eastern Pacific. The Pacific tropical activity can also be attributed to the impressively warm ocean water that we've seen.
A record five named storms have developed in the central Pacific basin this year (Halola, Ela, Iune, Kilo and Loke). The old record was four in 1982, according to Klotzbach. In addition, a record three named storms have now crossed the International Date Line from the central Pacific into the western Pacific this year.2015 Category 4 or 5 Hurricanes and Typhoons
Super Typhoon Maysak was the first to reach this extreme intensity when it was a Category 5 at the end of March. Maysak was only the sixth super typhoon of record prior to April 1.
Since then, we've had at least one typhoon or hurricane at Category 4 or 5 strength in each month through early September. Below is a list of all the hurricanes and typhoons that have reached Category 4 or 5 status so far in 2015, and the month(s) that this occurred.
Super Typhoon Maysak: March 30-April 1
Super Typhoon Noul: mid-May
Super Tyhoon Dolphin: mid-May
Hurricane Andres: May 31-June 1
Hurricane Blanca: early June
Typhoon Chan-hom: early July
Hurricane Dolores: middle July
Super Typhoon Nangka: early July
Super Typhoon Soudelor: early August
Hurricane Hilda: early August
Typhoon Goni: middle August
Super Typhoon Atsani: middle August
Hurricane Jimena: Late August-Early September
Hurricane Ignacio: Late August
Hurricane/Typhoon Kilo: Late August
More from AOL.com:
This video shows how smokers age over the span of 30 years
Manhunt widens for suspects in Illinois policeman's death
Sheriff: Texas man killed by deputies was armed with knife