November 28, 2005
This year's hurricane season is one that won't stop giving. Although it officially ends on Wednesday, it isn't showing any signs of winding down.
The 2005 hurricane season is certainly one for the record books. There were 25 named storms, more than in any other year on record. From Arlene to Wilma, then from Alpha to Delta, this season was busy from day one.
"We had a lot of storms unusually early this year. What was unusual about this year was the number of early storms," said Robert Davis, a climatologist at The University of Virginia.
There were several ominous warning signs that this season would be an unusually active one.
"The forecasts were for an active season, not necessarily just this year, but the fact is that since 1995, we've been in a very active period for Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes," said Davis.
One thing is certain, no warning signs could have prepared us for the sheer devastation from hurricanes like Dennis, Rita, Wilma, and of course, Katrina.
"There was some suspicion that the levees wouldn't hold if there was a major hurricane making landfall in the right location relative to New Orleans," said Davis.
Even parts of the globe that are normally hurricane free received unwelcome tropical guests, like Hurricane Vince in Spain, so what made this season so different?
"Sea surface temperatures were unusually high. Vince [was] an example of a storm that's utilizing warm water in a location where there hadn't been previous storms tracking over that region," said Davis.
As Hurricane Season 2005 slowly dwindles, residents along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts hope that Mother Nature has spun up her last batch of tropical trouble. That is, until next year.
Damage estimates for this year's hurricane season are still coming in, but economic losses from Hurricane Katrina alone could top $100 billion.