After several quiet years, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season proved to be quite different.
This year’s devastating and deadly hurricane season was one of the top 10 most active seasons on record. There were more than the usual number of storms this hurricane season with 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major (category 3 or stronger) hurricanes.
In an average season, there are 12 named storms, six hurricane and two major hurricanes. There were 10 consecutive hurricanes this season, which tied a record set in 1893.
The hurricane season was off to an early start in April, but it was September that proved to be the most powerful month in term of intensity ever recorded in the Atlantic.
Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Wilma in 2005 and dumped a record 60.58” of rain near Nederland, Texas.
This was the most rainfall amount from a single storm in the continental U.S. - The torrential rain overwhelmed Houston and surrounding areas with historic flooding.
Major hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria plowed through Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico making this the costliest hurricane season on record. Early damage estimates exceed $300 billion with hundreds of people killed along their catastrophic paths.
In comparison, the damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was $108 billion, which has been the costliest hurricane in U.S. history.
While Hurricane Ophelia wasn’t the strongest storm, it broke a record with a very unusual path. The warm ocean waters kept Ophelia fueled as the hurricane traveled farther east than any major hurricane in the Atlantic to date. Ophelia reached Ireland as a post-tropical storm. The previous record was set by Hurricane Frances in 1980.
The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30. Although rare, there have been six hurricanes recorded outside the official season since records began back in 1851.