Despite there being no catastrophic hurricane landfalls in the United States, the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season- which officially ended yesterday- was one of the most active on record.
Nineteen named storms formed, which was a third place tie with the 1887 and 1995 seasons. A dozen of these storms reached hurricane status, a tie with the 1969 season for second place. Five storms became major hurricanes, though none reached category 5 status.
The most intense storm of the year was Igor, which lasted 13 days and nearly reached category five strength. It went on to become the largest storm ever in the Atlantic basin, with a gale force winds diameter of 920 miles.
Though the US was spared of major damage, Mexico and Haiti were less fortunate. Hurricanes Alex, Karl, and Tomas brought heavy rains, high winds, mudslides, and more. The total seasonal damage was over $11 billion, with at least 259 direct fatalities.
The final results were in line with the forecasts put out in May and August. Record warm Atlantic waters, favorable upper-level winds, and La NiÃ±a helped the Atlantic churn out a hyperactive season. Meanwhile, the normally more active Northeast Pacific produced the least activity on record since the satellite era began over 40 years ago.
With a weak economy, and a bleak outlook going forward, the United States was quite fortunate to not be plagued with hurricanes. Will next year be so kind to us? Itâ€™s probably too early to tell, but we should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Image source: NASA