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Busy Hurricane Season Ends With U.S. Unscathed

November 29, 2010

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, James West

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The flip of the calendar from November to December has put an end to the busy 2010 Atlantic hurricane season with most Americans living along the nation`s coasts letting out a sigh of relief.

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will go down in history as one of the busiest seasons. Nineteen storms were named this season running from the June 25 creation of Alex in the western Caribbean to Tomas`s demise over the western Atlantic. Of those storms, 12 became hurricanes and five became major (category 3 or higher) hurricanes.

Historically, the 2010 season tied with 1887 and 1995 as the third busiest season on record. The dozen hurricanes tied with 1969 as the second highest on record. No season has touched the hyperactive 2005 season when 28 storms were named, 15 became hurricanes and seven grew into major hurricanes.

The active hurricane season was due to record warm Atlantic water, favorable winds coming off Africa and La Nina aiding a weak wind shear environment that helped storms to develop.

The U.S. avoided a direct hurricane hit this year. The only storm to make U.S. landfall was Tropical Storm Bonnie in southeastern Florida in July. All other storms that looked to threaten the U.S. turned away.

However, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico are not exiting the season unscathed. Hurricane Tomas brought devastating heavy rain and flooding to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, and several storms, including Alex, brought heavy rain, mudslides and deadly flooding to eastern Mexico and Central America.

A team of WeatherBug meteorologists predicted a busy season in its forecast issued in mid-April. Their above-average forecast called for 12-17 named storms, 6-9 hurricanes and 3 to 4 major hurricanes. This season was even more active than predicted, mainly due the stronger than expected La Nina.

On the flip side, the eastern Pacific Ocean north of the equator had its least active season since at least the mid-1960s. Only seven storms were named this year, with three growing into hurricanes and two becoming major hurricanes. This is nearly half of the average activity seen here.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and the latest on the upcoming Atlantic hurricane Season. Get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter at WeatherBug WeatherBuzz.

Source: WeatherBug Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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