November 30, 2009
Monday, November 30th is the last day of the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season. A hurricane season that will be remembered as one of the quietest in almost two decades.
Every year meteorologist across the country make predictions for the upcoming hurricane season. Almost a year ago NOAA released a forecast for the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season. 9 to 14 named storms, 4 to 7 hurricanes, with 1 to 3 being major hurricanes (category 3+), what many would call an average year.
But this year was much more quiet than average, only 9 named storm, 3 hurricanes, 2 major hurricanes.
The season got off to a slow start with Tropical Storm Ana forming in mid August. Hurricane Bill formed shortly after and gave the East Coast a bit of a scare, strengthening to a category 4 hurricane but never made landfall in the U.S. Tropical Storm Claudette was the first of only 2 storms to make a U.S. landfall. Claudette move onshore along the panhandle of Florida on august 17th with 50 mph winds. Tropical Storm Danny also flirted with the East Coast but only managed to stir up high surf.
Tropical Storm Erika started off the month of September and Hurricane Fred formed a week later, strengthening to a category 3 storm. An oddball Tropical Storm Grace set a record as the farthest northeast forming tropical storm, moving to within 100 miles of Ireland. Tropical Storm Henri stayed to our south only impacting the Caribbean
Perhaps the most interesting system of 09 was Hurricane Ida. A late season storm forming in early November, made landfall in Alabama. The leftovers of Ida formed into a powerful nor'easter that brought several inches of rain to the Mid-Atlantic and caused major damage along the Virginia and North Carolina coast.
The main reasons for the quiet hurricane season were persistent upper-level winds linked to El Nino and cooler ocean temperatures, both helping to limit tropical development.
Now that the 2009 season is past us, it's time to look ahead to the 2010 season. The first 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast is expected to be issued in early December.