In my last blog entry, I discussed how active the 2010 season was compared to normal. Fortunately for the U.S., all 12 of this year’s hurricanes missed the United States. Last week, I thought that we might just see one more named storm before the Atlantic shut down. Models had been predicting development in the southwest Caribbean to occur a few days ago, but that didn’t happen. Now it appears that the season may well have ended with the totals of 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.
As an interesting final note concerning the 2010 season, Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University (works with Dr. Bill Gray) has come up with a number of “oddities” from this year’s hurricane season. Dr. Klotzbach’s full review of the 2010 season can be found at his website. By the way, Dr. Klotzbach is scheduled to be our keynote speaker at our 2011 ImpactWeather Hurricane Seminar, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 26th.
Here are a few of Dr. Klotzbach’s 2010 oddities:
• Nineteen named storms occurred during 2010. Since 1944, only 1995 (19) and 2005 (28) have had the same or more named storms.
• Nine named storms formed in the Main Development Region this year (Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Igor, Julia, Lisa and Tomas). Only 1933 (11 storms) and 1995 (9 storms) have had as many named storms form in the Main Development Region.
• 88.25 named storm days occurred in 2010. This ties 2010 with 2008 for the 6th most named storm days in a single season since 1944.
• Twelve hurricanes occurred in 2010. Since 1944, only two seasons, 1969 (12) and 2005 (15) have had the same or more hurricanes in a single season.
• 37.50 hurricane days occurred in 2010. This is the most hurricane days observed in a single season since 2005 (when 49.75 hurricane days were recorded).
• 5 major hurricanes formed during the 2010 hurricane season. Since 1944, only seven seasons (1950, 1955, 1961, 1964, 1996, 2004, and 2005) have had more than five major hurricanes form.
• 11 major hurricane days occurred in 2010. This is the 11th most major hurricane days to occur in a single season since 1944.
• The season accrued an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 163. This is the most ACE since 2005 (250) and the 13th most since 1944.
• No Category 5 hurricanes developed in 2010. This is the third consecutive year with no Category 5 hurricanes. The last time that two or more years occurred in a row with no Category 5 hurricanes was 1999-2002.
• June and July had slightly above-average ACE activity. Seven ACE units were accrued during the two-month period, while the 1950-2000 June-July average was approximately 5 ACE units.
• No named storm days were accrued between August 9 and August 21. The last time that no named storm days occurred between these two dates was 2006.
• August had well above-average ACE activity. 38 ACE units were recorded during the month, which is approximately 165% of the 1950-2000 average. It was the most ACE accrued during the month of August since 2005 when 39 ACE units were accumulated.
• Eleven named storms formed between August 22 and September 29. This is the most named storms to form during this period, breaking the old record of nine named storms set in 1933, 1949, 1984 and 2002.
• Five hurricanes formed during the month of October. Only 1870 (six hurricanes) and 1950 (five hurricanes) have had at least five systems reach hurricane strength for the first time during October.
• Hurricane Alex became the most powerful hurricane during the month of June, in terms of maximum sustained winds (85 knots), since Hurricane Alma in 1966 which had estimated maximum sustained winds of 110 knots.
• Hurricane Igor generated 43 ACE units. This is the most ACE units generated by a single storm since Hurricane Ivan (2004) which generated a whopping 70 ACE units.
• Hurricane Julia became the farthest east that a Category 4 hurricane has formed in the Main Development Region, according to the HURDAT database. However, it should be cautioned that the reliability of tropical cyclone statistics, especially in the eastern Atlantic is suspect prior to satellite imagery being readily available in the mid 1960s.
• Igor and Julia both were at Category 4 status on September 15. The only other time that two storms both were at Category 4 status in the Atlantic was on September 15, 1926.
• Igor, Julia and Karl were all at hurricane strength at the same time. This has only occurred in eight years prior to 2010, with the most recent occasion being in 1998.
• Four Category 4 hurricanes (Danielle, Earl, Igor and Julia) formed in the Atlantic between August 27 and September 15 (20 days). This is the shortest time span on record for four Category 4 hurricanes to develop, breaking the old record of 24 days set in 1999.
• Only one tropical storm made U.S. landfall this year (Bonnie). We have not had a hurricane landfall since Hurricane Ike in 2008. The last time that we went two years in a row with no hurricane landfalls was 2000-2001.
• Only three tropical storms have made landfall over the past two years. The last time that three or fewer tropical cyclones made landfall in any consecutive two-year period was 1990-1991.
• No hurricanes made landfall along the Florida Peninsula and East Coast. This marks the fifth year in a row with no hurricane landfalls along this portion of the U.S. coastline. This is the first time since reliable U.S. records began in 1878 that no hurricanes have made landfall along the Florida Peninsula and East Coast in a five-year period.
• No hurricanes made landfall along the United States coastline this year. This is the first time in recorded history that as many as twelve hurricanes have occurred in the Atlantic basin without a United States landfall. Every other year with at least ten hurricanes in the Atlantic basin had at least two hurricane landfalls in the United States.
• No major hurricanes made U.S. landfall this year. Following seven major hurricane landfalls in 2004-2005, the U.S. has not witnessed a major hurricane landfall in the past five seasons. The five consecutive years between 1901-1905 and 1910-1914 have been the only other five consecutive year periods with no major U.S. hurricane landfalls.
That’s some list for this year! So much activity and so little U.S. impact in 2010. That’s something those of us in the U.S. can be thankful for.