The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is the division of the United States' National Weather Service responsible for tracking and predicting tropical weather systems between the Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian west poleward to the 30th parallel north in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the 31st parallel north in the northern Atlantic Ocean. The agency, which is co-located with the Miami branch of the National Weather Service, is situated on the campus of Florida International University in University Park, Florida.
The NHC's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB) routinely issues marine forecasts, in the form of graphics and high seas forecasts year round, with the Ocean Prediction Center having backup responsibility for this unit. The Technology and Science Branch (TSB) provides technical support for the center, which includes new infusions of technology from abroad. The Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination, All Hurricanes (CARCAH) unit tasks planes, for research and operational purposes, to tropical cyclones during the Atlantic hurricane season and significant weather events, including snow storms, during winter and spring. Research to improve operational forecasts is done through the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP) and Joint Hurricane Test Bed (JHT) initiatives.
During the Atlantic and northeast Pacific hurricane seasons, the Hurricane Specialists Unit (HSU) issues routine tropical weather outlooks for the northeast Pacific and northern Atlantic oceans. When tropical storm or hurricane conditions are expected within 48 hours, the center issues watches and warnings via the news media and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio.
Although the NHC is an agency of the United States, the World Meteorological Organization has designated it as the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center for the North Atlantic and eastern Pacific, making it the clearinghouse for tropical cyclone forecasts and observations occurring in these areas. If the NHC loses power or becomes incapacitated, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center backs tropical cyclone advisories and tropical weather outlooks for the northeast Pacific Ocean while the Weather Prediction Center backs up tropical cyclone advisories and tropical weather outlooks for the North Atlantic Ocean.
|National Hurricane Center|
Front view of the National Hurricane Center
|Jurisdiction||United States government|
|Headquarters||University Park, Miami, Florida, U.S.|
The first hurricane warning service was set up in the 1870s from Cuba with the work of Father Benito Viñes. After his death, hurricane warning services were assumed by the United States Signal Corps and United States Weather Bureau over the next decade, first based in Jamaica in 1898 and Cuba in 1899 before shifting to Washington, D.C. in 1902.
The central office in Washington, which evolved into the National Meteorological Center and Weather Prediction Center (formerly known as the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center), assumed hurricane warning/advisory responsibility at that time. This responsibility passed to regional hurricane offices in 1935, and the concept of the Atlantic hurricane season was established to keep a vigilant lookout for tropical cyclones during certain times of the year. Hurricane advisories issued every six hours by the regional hurricane offices began at this time.
The Jacksonville hurricane warning office moved to Miami, Florida, in 1943. Tropical cyclone naming began for Atlantic tropical cyclones using the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet by 1947. In 1950, the Miami Hurricane Warning Office began to prepare the annual hurricane season summary articles. In the 1953 Atlantic season, the United States Weather Bureau began naming storms which reach tropical storm intensity with human names.
The National Hurricane Research Project, begun in the 1950s, used aircraft to study tropical cyclones and carry out experiments on mature hurricanes through its Project Stormfury. On July 1, 1956, a National Hurricane Information Center was established in Miami, Florida, which became a warehouse for all hurricane-related information from one United States Weather Bureau office. The Miami Hurricane Warning Office (HWO) moved from Lindsey Hopkins Hotel to the Aviation Building 4 miles (6.4 km) to the northwest on July 1, 1958. Forecasts within the hurricane advisories were issued one day into the future in 1954 before being extended to two days into the future in 1961, three days into the future in 1964, and five days into the future in 2001. The Miami HWO moved to the campus of the University of Miami in 1964, and was referred to as the NHC in 1965. The Miami HWO tropical cyclone reports were done regularly and took on their modern format in 1964.
|Edward Rappaport[Note 1]||2007–2008|||
|Edward Rappaport[Note 1]||2017–2018|||
|Kenneth Graham||2018 – Present|||
Beginning in 1973, the National Meteorological Center duties (renamed the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center; renamed for a second time in 2013) gained advisory responsibility for tracking and publicizing inland tropical depressions. The World Meteorological Organization assumed control of the Atlantic hurricane naming list in 1977. In 1978, the NHC's offices moved off the campus of the University of Miami across U.S. Highway 1 to the IRE Financial Building. Male names were added into the hurricane list beginning in the 1979 season. The hurricane warning offices remained active past 1983.
In 1984, the NHC was separated from the Miami Weather Service Forecast Office, which meant the meteorologist in charge at Miami was no longer in a supervisory position over the hurricane center director. By 1988, the NHC gained responsibility for eastern Pacific tropical cyclones as the former Eastern Pacific Hurricane Center in San Francisco was decommissioned. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew blew the WSR-57 weather radar and the anemometer off the roof of NHC's/the Miami State Weather Forecast offices. The radar was replaced with a WSR-88D NEXRAD system in April 1993 installed near Metro Zoo, near where Hurricane Andrew made landfall.
In 1995, the NHC moved into a new hurricane-resistant facility on the campus of Florida International University, capable of withstanding 130 mph (210 km/h) winds. Its name was changed to the Tropical Prediction Center in 1995. After the name change to TPC, the Hurricane Specialists were grouped as a separate NHC unit under the Tropical Prediction Center, separating themselves from the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch. On October 1, 2010, the Tropical Prediction Center was renamed the NHC, and the group formerly known as the NHC became known as the Hurricane Specialists Unit (HSU).
Tropical cyclone forecasting uses statistical methods based on tropical cyclone climatology, as well as methods of numerical weather prediction where computers use mathematical equations of motion to determine their movement. The World Meteorological Organization continues to create and maintain the annual hurricane naming lists. Naming lists use a six-year rotation, with the deadliest or most infamous storm names retired from the rotation. The current acting director of the National Hurricane Center is Edward Rappaport following the retirement of Richard Knabb on May 15, 2017. Rappaport was succeeded by Kenneth Graham on April 1, 2018.
For the fiscal year of 2008, the budget for the NHC was $6.8 million. The NHC staff has 66 members including 12 managers. The NHC is one of nine national centers which compose the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).
Known as the NHC from 1995 through 2010, the hurricane specialists within the hurricane specialists unit (HSU) are the chief meteorologists that predict the actions of tropical storms. The specialists work rotating eight-hour shifts from May through November, monitoring weather patterns in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific oceans. Whenever a tropical or subtropical cyclone forms, they issue advisories every six hours until the storm is over. Public advisories are issued more often when the storm expected to be of tropical storm or hurricane intensity threatens land. The specialists coordinate with officials in each country likely to be affected. They forecast and recommend watches and warnings.
During the hurricane season, the HSU routinely issues their Tropical Weather Outlook product, which identifies areas of concern within the tropics which could develop into tropical cyclones. If systems occur outside the defined hurricane season, the HSU issues special Tropical Weather Outlooks. Backup responsibility for their northeast Pacific area resides at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC), and vice versa if CPHC were to have communication issues. North Atlantic responsibilities are backed up by the Weather Prediction Center (WPC). Routine coordination occurs at 1700 UTC each day between the Weather Prediction Center and National Hurricane Center to identify systems for the pressure maps three to seven days into the future within the tropics, and points for existing tropical cyclones six to seven days into the future. Outside of the hurricane season, the specialists concentrate on public education efforts.
|Hurricane Specialists Unit|
|Michael Brennan, Ph.D.||Lixion Avila, Ph.D.||Jack Beven, Ph.D.||Daniel Brown||Richard Pasch, Ph.D.||Stacy Stewart|
|John Cangialosi||Robbie Berg||Eric Blake||David Zelinsky||Andy Latto||Dave Roberts|
The Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB, formerly the Tropical Satellite Analysis and Forecast unit and the Tropical Analysis Center) is a part of the National Hurricane Center and was created in 1967. The TAFB is responsible for high seas analyses and forecasts for tropical portions of the Atlantic and Pacific between the Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian west poleward to the 30th parallel north in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the 31st parallel north in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Unlike the Hurricane Specialists Unit (HSU), TAFB is staffed full-time around the year. Other responsibilities of the TAFB include satellite-derived tropical cyclone position and intensity estimates, WSR-88D radar fixes for tropical cyclones, tropical cyclone forecast support, media support, and general operational support. The Ocean Prediction Center backs up TAFB in the event of a communications outage, and vice versa.
|Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch|
|Christopher Landsea||Eric Christenen||Andrew Levine||Jeffrey Lewitsky||Scott Stripling||Vacant||Jorge Aguirre-Echevarria||Carl McElroy|
|Dan Mundell||Gladys Rubio||Nelsie Ramos||Vacant||Mike Formosa||Mike Tichacek||Evelyn Rivera-Acevedo|
|Andrew Hagen||Maria Torres||Vacant||Vacant|
The Technology & Science Branch (TSB) develops and transitions new tools and techniques into operations for tropical weather prediction in conjunction with other government and academic entities. TSB created and continues development of the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting (ATCF) system, used to incorporate various data and model outputs, create and update HURDAT, and to generate tropical cyclone forecasts. The TSB provides support for NHC computer and communications systems including its website. TSB maintains a number of statistical and dynamical models used in predicting both tropical cyclone behavior and associated weather conditions. The Storm Surge Unit, which develops and maintains software to forecast the storm surge of tropical cyclones, is part of this branch. The Techniques Development and Applications Unit (TDAU) is part of TSB.
The Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination, All Hurricanes (CARCAH) is a subunit of the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters). CARCAH's mission is to provide a point-of-contact and to coordinate all tropical cyclone operational reconnaissance requirements at NHC and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center for the North Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and the North Pacific basin east of the International Date Line in accordance with the National Hurricane Operations Plan (NHOP). During the winter, CARCAH coordinates the Atlantic and Pacific winter storm requirements in support of the National Winter Storms Operations Plan (NWSOP). Missions are flown in advance of the high-impact weather events forecast to affect the U.S., such as heavy snowfall, and at times when there is significant uncertainty within/between numerical weather prediction output.
The Hurricane Liaison Team (HLT) supports hurricane response through information exchange between the NHC, the National Weather Service (NOAA/NWS), and the emergency management community. The HLT is composed of federal, state, and local emergency managers, as well as NWS meteorologists and hydrologists, who maintain open lines of communication about the progress and threat level of the storm with appropriate Federal, state, and local officials. The team establishes and facilitates video and/or teleconferences with the NHC, FEMA and other Federal agencies, state Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), Weather Prediction Center (WPC), Storm Prediction Center (SPC), and River Forecast Centers (RFCs). During significant landfalling hurricanes, the President of the United States as well as affected city mayors and state governors join the daily briefing call, which occurs at noon Eastern Daylight Time.
As part of their annual tropical cyclone activity, the agency issues a tropical cyclone report on every tropical cyclone in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Ocean basins, which are available since 1958 and 1988, respectively. The report summarizes the synoptic history, meteorological statistics, casualties and damages, and the post-analysis best track of a storm. The reports were formally known as Preliminary Reports up until 1999. The agency maintains archives and climatological statistics on Atlantic and Pacific hurricane history, including annual reports on every tropical cyclone, a complete set of tropical cyclone advisories, digitized copies of related materials on older storms, season summaries published as the Monthly Weather Review, and HURDAT, which is the official tropical cyclone database.
Programs are dedicated to improving the accuracy of tropical cyclone forecasts from the center. The Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) is a joint operation between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and United States Weather Research Program to speed up the transfer of tropical cyclone-related research into forecast operations. Since 2001, with its annual budget of between $1.0 and $1.5 million, the JHT has funded 62 initiatives, with most of them being implemented operationally. The projects have had varied success, ranging from minor to significant advances in the way the NHC operates. The Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program's (HFIP) five-year goal is to lead to a 20 percent improvement within the numerical weather prediction models provided by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction to NHC by 2015 and a 50 percent improvement within tropical cyclone track forecasting and intensity guidance by 2020.
The 1991 Atlantic hurricane season was the first season since 1984 in which no hurricanes developed from tropical waves, which are the source for most North Atlantic tropical cyclones. The hurricane season officially began on June 1, and ended on November 30. It was the least active in four years due to higher than usual wind shear across the Atlantic Ocean. The first storm, Ana, developed on July 2 off the southeast United States and dissipated without causing significant effects. Two other tropical storms in the season – Danny and Erika – did not significantly affect land. Danny dissipated east of the Lesser Antilles, and Erika passed through the Azores before becoming extratropical. In addition, there were four non-developing tropical depressions. The second depression of the season struck Mexico with significant accompanying rains.
The most significant storm of the season was Hurricane Bob, which at the time was among the ten costliest United States hurricanes. After brushing the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Long Island in New York, the hurricane made landfall on Rhode Island. It caused $1.5 billion in damage (1991 USD), mostly in Massachusetts, and 17 fatalities. The strongest hurricane of the season was Claudette, which reached peak winds of 135 mph (215 km/h) near Bermuda. It passed near the island but did not cause any damage. Tropical Storm Fabian was the only tropical storm to move over or near Cuba or Florida, producing heavy rainfall but no damage. Hurricane Grace, the final named storm of the season, provided the energy that led to the development of a powerful nor'easter known as the Perfect Storm. Originating from an extratropical storm, the Perfect Storm intensified while moving westward toward New England, leaving $200 million in damage and causing coastal damage from Puerto Rico to Florida and northward through Canada. It later transitioned into a hurricane over the Gulf Stream, finally dissipating over Nova Scotia on November 2.2005 Atlantic hurricane season
The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history, shattering numerous records. The impact of the season was widespread and catastrophic. Its storms caused an estimated total of 3,960 deaths and approximately $180.7 billion in damage, making it the second costliest season on record, surpassed only by the 2017 season.
Of the storms that made landfall, five of the season's seven major hurricanes—Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma—were responsible for the majority of the destruction. Stan was the most destructive storm that was not a major hurricane. The Mexican states of Quintana Roo and Yucatán and the U.S. states of Florida and Louisiana were each struck twice by major hurricanes; Cuba, the Bahamas, Haiti, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Tamaulipas were each struck once and brushed by at least one more.
The most devastating effects of the season were felt on the United States' Gulf Coast, where a 30-foot (9.1 m) storm surge from Hurricane Katrina caused severe flooding that destroyed most structures on the Mississippi coastline; subsequent levee failures in New Orleans, Louisiana caused by the storm crippled the city. Furthermore, Hurricane Stan combined with an extratropical system to cause deadly mudslides across Central America, with Guatemala being hardest-hit.
The 2005 season was the first to observe more tropical storms and cyclones in the Atlantic than in the West Pacific; on average, the latter experiences 26 tropical storms per year while the Atlantic only averages 12. This event was repeated in the 2010 season; however, the 2010 typhoon season broke the record for the fewest storms observed in a single year, while the 2005 typhoon season featured near-average activity.
The season officially began on June 1, 2005, and lasted until November 30, although it effectively persisted into January 2006 due to continued storm activity. A record twenty-eight tropical and subtropical storms formed, of which a record fifteen became hurricanes. Of these, a record-tying seven strengthened into major hurricanes, a record-tying five became Category 4 hurricanes and a record four reached Category 5 strength, the highest categorization for hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Among these Category 5 storms were hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, respectively the second costliest and the most intense (by lowest barometric pressure) Atlantic hurricanes on record. The 2005 season was also notable because the annual pre-designated list of storm names was used up and six Greek letter names had to be used.2006 Pacific hurricane season
The 2006 Pacific hurricane season was the most active since 2000, producing 19 tropical storms or hurricanes. Eighteen developed within the National Hurricane Center (NHC) area of warning responsibility, which is east of 140°W, and one storm formed between 140°W and the International Date Line, which is under the jurisdiction of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC). Of the 19 total storms, eleven became hurricanes, of which six attained major hurricane status. Within the NHC portion of the basin, the season officially began on May 15, and in the CPHC portion, it started on June 1; the season officially ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the eastern Pacific basin.
The strongest storm of the season was Hurricane Ioke, which reached Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale in the central Pacific Ocean; Ioke passed near Johnston Atoll and later Wake Island, where it caused heavy damage but no deaths. The deadliest storm of the season was Hurricane John, which killed six people after striking the Baja California Peninsula, and the costliest storm was Hurricane Lane, which caused $203 million in damage in southwestern Mexico (2006 USD, $252 million 2019 USD).
Seasonal activity began on May 27, when Tropical Storm Aletta formed off the southwest coast of Mexico. No storms formed in June, though the season became active in July when five named storms developed, including Hurricane Daniel which was the second strongest storm of the season, as well as Tropical Storm Emilia. During August, Hurricanes Ioke and John formed, as well as four other storms. September was a relatively quiet month with two storms, of which one was Hurricane Lane. Three storms developed in October including Hurricane Paul and two formed in November; this marked the second time on record, after 1961, when more than one tropical storm developed in the basin during the month of November.2007 Atlantic hurricane season
The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season was an above average Atlantic hurricane season, but most of the storms were weak and short-lived. Despite the high activity of weak storms during 2007, it was the first season to feature more than one Category 5 landfalling hurricane, a feat that would not be matched until ten years later. It produced 17 tropical cyclones, 15 tropical storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. It officially started on June 1 and ended on November 30, dates which conventionally delimit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Ocean, although as shown by Subtropical Storm Andrea and Tropical Storm Olga in early May and early December, respectively, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year. The first system, Subtropical Storm Andrea, developed on May 9, while the last storm, Tropical Storm Olga, dissipated on December 13. The most intense hurricane, Dean, is tied for the eighth most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded as well as the third most intense Atlantic hurricane at landfall. The season was one of only six on record for the Atlantic with more than one Category 5 hurricane. It was the second on record in which an Atlantic hurricane, Felix, and an eastern Pacific hurricane, Henriette, made landfall on the same day. September had a record-tying eight storms, although the strengths and durations of most of the storms were low. Aside from hurricanes Dean and Felix, none of the storms in the season exceeded Category 1 intensity.
Pre-season forecasts by Colorado State University called for 14 named storms and 7 hurricanes, of which three were expected to attain major hurricane status. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) later issued its initial forecast, which predicted 13 to 17 named storms, 7 to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes. After several revisions in the projected number of storms, NOAA and CSU lowered their forecasts by the middle of the season.
Several storms made landfall or directly affected land. Hurricanes Dean and Felix made landfall at Category 5 intensity, causing severe damage in parts of Mexico and Central America, respectively. Both storm names, as well as Noel, the name of a hurricane that affected the Caribbean, were retired from the naming list of Atlantic hurricanes. The United States was affected by five cyclones, although the storms were generally weak; three tropical depressions and only two tropical storms, Barry and Gabrielle, and one hurricane, Humberto, made landfall in the country. Elsewhere, three storms directly affected Canada, although none severely. The combined storms killed at least 478 people and caused about $3.42 billion (2007 USD, $4.13 billion 2019 USD) in damage.2011 Pacific hurricane season
The 2011 Pacific hurricane season was a below-average Pacific hurricane season and was the first season since 2009 that featured no depressions or named storms in the month of May. It had six major hurricanes which was above average for a Pacific hurricane season. The season officially started on May 15, 2011, for the eastern Pacific, and started on June 1, 2011, for the central Pacific, both of which ended on November 30, 2011. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin. A total of 11 named storms were observed, which is below average.
Despite the decrease in storms, there were several intense and destructive storms this season. Hurricane Beatriz killed four people in Southwestern Mexico. Hurricane Jova killed eight and caused $203.67 million (2011 USD) in damage to Western Mexico. Tropical Depression Twelve-E killed 30 people in Central America. Meanwhile, Kenneth became the strongest November storm at the time. Hurricane Hilary brought additional flooding to Southwestern Mexico.2012 Pacific hurricane season
The 2012 Pacific hurricane season was a moderately active Pacific hurricane season that saw an unusually high number of tropical cyclones pass west of the Baja California Peninsula. The season officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific, and ended on November 30; these dates conventionally delimit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. However, with the formation of Tropical Storm Aletta on May 14 the season slightly exceeded these bounds.
Hurricane Bud intensified into the first major hurricane of the season, one of three to do so in the month of May. In mid-June, Hurricane Carlotta came ashore near Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Seven people were killed by Carlotta and damage amounted to US$12.4 million. Hurricane Paul brought significant damage to Baja California Sur. Tropical Storms Hector, John, Kristy, and Norman, as well as Hurricane Fabio all threatened land; however, damage from these storms were relatively minor.2016 Pacific hurricane season
The 2016 Pacific hurricane season was tied as the fifth-most active season on record, alongside the 2014 season. Throughout the course of the year, a total of 22 named storms, 13 hurricanes and six major hurricanes were observed within the basin. Although the season was very active, it was considerably less active than the previous season, with large gaps of inactivity at the beginning and towards the end of the season. It officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific; they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin. However, as illustrated by Hurricane Pali, which became the earliest Central Pacific tropical cyclone on record, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year. After Pali, however, the active season had a slow start, becoming the first season since 2011 in which no tropical cyclones occurred in May, and also the first since 2007 in which no named storms formed in the month of June.
Hurricane Darby brushed the Hawaiian islands as a tropical storm causing only minor damage; while hurricanes Lester and Madeline also threatened to make landfall in Hawaii but weakened significantly before approaching the islands. Tropical Storm Javier and Hurricane Newton both made landfall in Mexico, with the latter being responsible for at least nine fatalities as it came ashore near Baja California Sur. Hurricane Ulika was a rare and erratic storm which zig-zagged across 140°W a total of three times. Hurricane Seymour became the strongest storm of the season, forming in late October. Finally, in late November, Hurricane Otto from the Atlantic made an unusual crossing over Central America, emerging into the East Pacific as a moderate tropical storm but dissipated shortly after.2017 Atlantic hurricane season
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was a hyperactive and catastrophic hurricane season that, with a damage total of at least $282.28 billion (USD), was the costliest tropical cyclone season on record. With over 3,300 deaths, 2017 was the deadliest season since 2005 and also featured the highest total accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) since the same year. Most of the season's damage was due to three major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Another notable hurricane, Nate, was the worst natural disaster in Costa Rican history; Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate had their names retired due to their high damage costs and loss of life. Featuring 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes, the 2017 season ranks alongside 1936 as the fifth-most active season since reliable records began in 1851. The 2017 season had the most major hurricanes since 2005. This season is also one of only six years on record to feature multiple Category 5 hurricanes and the only season other than 2007 with two hurricanes making landfall at that intensity. All ten of the season's hurricanes occurred in a row, the greatest number of consecutive hurricanes in the satellite era, and tied for the highest number of consecutive hurricanes ever observed in the Atlantic basin. Additionally, this season is the only season on record in which three hurricanes each had an ACE of over 40: Irma, Jose, and Maria.
The season officially began on June 1 and ended on November 30. These dates historically describe the period of year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. However, as shown by Tropical Storm Arlene in April, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at other times of the year. In mid-June, Tropical Storm Bret made landfall on Trinidad, which is rarely struck by tropical cyclones, due to its low latitude. In late August, Hurricane Harvey became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005 and the first Category 4 hurricane since Charley in 2004, while also tying the record for the costliest tropical cyclone on record, as well as the most rainfall dropped by a tropical cyclone in the United States. In early September, Hurricane Irma became the first Category 5 hurricane to impact the northern Leeward Islands on record, later making landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane. In terms of maximum sustained winds, Irma is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin outside of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. In late September, Hurricane Maria became the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the island of Dominica on record. It later made landfall in Puerto Rico as a high-end Category 4 hurricane with catastrophic effect. Most of the deaths from this season occurred from Maria. In early October, Hurricane Nate became the fastest-moving tropical cyclone in the Gulf of Mexico while also becoming the fourth hurricane of the year to make landfall in the contiguous United States. Slightly over a week later, Hurricane Ophelia became the easternmost major hurricane in the Atlantic basin on record, and later impacted most of Northern Europe as an extratropical cyclone. The season concluded with Tropical Storm Rina, which became extratropical on November 9.
Initial predictions for the season anticipated that an El Niño would develop, lowering tropical cyclone activity. However, the predicted El Niño failed to develop, with cool-neutral conditions developing instead, later progressing to a La Niña – the second one in a row. This led forecasters to raise their predicted totals, with some later anticipating that the season could be the most active since 2010.
Beginning in 2017, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) had the option to issue advisories – and thus allow watches and warnings to be issued – on disturbances that are not yet tropical cyclones but have a high chance to become one, and are expected to bring tropical storm or hurricane conditions to landmasses within 48 hours. Such systems are termed "Potential Tropical Cyclones". The first storm to receive this designation was Potential Tropical Cyclone Two, which later developed into Tropical Storm Bret, east-southeast of the Windward Islands on June 18. In addition, the numbering that a potential tropical cyclone receives would be retained for the rest of the hurricane season, meaning that the next tropical system would be designated with the following number, even though potential tropical cyclones do not qualify as tropical cyclones. This was first demonstrated with Potential Tropical Cyclone Ten, which failed to develop into a tropical cyclone.2017 Pacific hurricane season
The 2017 Pacific hurricane season was a moderately active Pacific hurricane season, featuring eighteen named storms, nine hurricanes, and four major hurricanes, though the season was significantly less active than the previous three seasons. Despite the considerable amount of activity, most of the storms were weak and short-lived. The season officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific; they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the basin. However, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year. This was demonstrated when the first storm, Tropical Storm Adrian, was named on May 10, and became the earliest-known tropical storm in the East Pacific since the advent of satellite imagery. The season saw near-average activity in terms of Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE), in stark contrast to the extremely active seasons in 2014, 2015, and 2016; and for the first time since 2012, no tropical cyclones formed in the Central Pacific basin. However, for the third year in a row, the season featured above-average activity in July, with the ACE value being the fifth highest for the month.
Beginning in 2017, the National Hurricane Center has the option to issue advisories, and thus allow watches and warnings to be issued, on disturbances that are not yet tropical cyclones but have a high chance to become one, and are expected to bring tropical storm or hurricane conditions to landmasses within 48 hours. Such systems are classified as "Potential Tropical Cyclones". This was first demonstrated in the East Pacific basin on August 29, with the designation of Potential Tropical Cyclone Fourteen-E—which later developed into Tropical Storm Lidia—south-southeast of the Baja California Peninsula.2018 Atlantic hurricane season
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season was the third in a consecutive series of above-average and damaging Atlantic hurricane seasons, featuring 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes, which caused a total of over $50.205 billion (2018 USD) in damages. The season officially began on June 1, 2018, and ended on November 30, 2018. These dates historically describe the period each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin and are adopted by convention. The formation of Tropical Storm Alberto on May 25, marked the fourth consecutive year in which a storm developed before the official start of the season. The next storm, Beryl, became the first hurricane to form in the eastern Atlantic during the month of July since Bertha in 2008. Chris, upgraded to a hurricane on July 10, became the earliest second hurricane in a season since 2005. No hurricanes formed in the North Atlantic during the month of August, marking the first season since 2013, and the eighth season on record, to do so. On September 5, Florence became the first major hurricane of the season. On September 12, Joyce formed, making 2018 the first season since 2008 to feature four named storms active simultaneously (Florence, Helene, Isaac, and Joyce). On October 9, Michael became the second major hurricane of the season, and a day later, it became the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. With the formation of Oscar on October 26, the season is the first on record to see seven storms that were subtropical at some point in their lifetimes (Alberto, Beryl, Debby, Ernesto, Joyce, Leslie, and Oscar).
Most forecasting groups called for a below-average season due to cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and the anticipated development of an El Niño. However, the anticipated El Niño failed to develop in time to suppress activity, and activity exceeded most predictions.2018 Pacific hurricane season
The 2018 Pacific hurricane season produced the highest accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) value on record. With 23 named storms, it was the fourth-most active season on record, tied with 1982. The season officially began on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific; they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin, as illustrated when the first tropical depression formed on May 10.
The second named storm of the season, Hurricane Bud, struck Baja California Sur in mid-June, causing minor damage. Tropical Storm Carlotta stalled offshore of the Mexican coastline, where it also caused minor damage. In early August, Hurricane Hector became one of the few tropical cyclones to cross into the Western Pacific from the Eastern Pacific, while also affecting Hawaii. A few weeks later, Hurricane Lane obtained Category 5 intensity while also becoming Hawaii's wettest tropical cyclone on record, and the second wettest tropical cyclone in US history, only behind Hurricane Harvey of the previous year. Hurricane Olivia also struck Hawaii, resulting in slight damage. In late September, Hurricanes Rosa and Sergio formed, both of which eventually brought thunderstorms and flash flooding to the Baja California Peninsula and the Southwestern United States. Meanwhile, Hurricane Walaka attained Category 5 intensity before causing disruptions in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. In late October, Hurricane Willa became the record-tying third Category 5 hurricane of the season (tied with the 1994 and 2002 seasons) before striking Sinaloa as a major hurricane. Damage across the basin reached $1.57 billion (2018 USD), while 49 people were killed by the various storms.Hurricane Dean
Hurricane Dean was the strongest tropical cyclone of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the most intense North Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Wilma of 2005, tying for seventh overall. Additionally, it made the third most intense Atlantic hurricane landfall. A Cape Verde hurricane that formed on August 13, 2007, Dean took a west-northwest path from the eastern Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lucia Channel and into the Caribbean. It strengthened into a major hurricane, reaching Category 5 status on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale before passing just south of Jamaica on August 20. The storm made landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula on August 21 as a powerful Category 5 storm. It crossed the peninsula and emerged into the Bay of Campeche weakened, but still remained a hurricane. It strengthened briefly before making a second landfall near Tecolutla in the Mexican state of Veracruz on August 22. Dean drifted to the northwest, weakening into a remnant low which dissipated uneventfully over the southwestern United States. Dean was the second-most intense tropical cyclone worldwide of 2007 in terms of pressure, only behind Cyclone George in the Australian region, and tied with Felix as the most intense worldwide in terms of 1-minute sustained winds.
The hurricane's intense winds, waves, rains and storm surge were responsible for at least 45 deaths across ten countries and caused estimated damages of US$1.66 billion. First impacting the islands of the Lesser Antilles, Dean's path through the Caribbean devastated agricultural crops, particularly those of Martinique and Jamaica. Upon reaching Mexico, Hurricane Dean was a Category 5 storm, but it missed major population centers and its exceptional Category 5 strength landfall caused no deaths and less damage than in the Caribbean islands it passed as a Category 2 storm.
Through the affected regions, clean up and repair took months to complete. Donations solicited by international aid organizations joined national funds in clearing roads, rebuilding houses, and replanting destroyed crops. In Jamaica, where the damage was worst, banana production did not return to pre-storm levels for over a year. Mexico's tourist industry, too, took almost a year to rebuild its damaged cruise ship infrastructure.
Dean was the first hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic basin at Category 5 intensity since Hurricane Andrew on August 24, 1992. Dean's Category 5 landfall was in a sparsely populated area and thus far less damaging than Andrew's, even though Dean was much larger, but its long swath of damage resulted in its name retirement from the World Meteorological Organization's Atlantic hurricane naming lists.Hurricane Epsilon
Hurricane Epsilon was the final of fifteen hurricanes within the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. Originating from a cold front beneath an upper-level low, Epsilon formed on November 29 about 915 mi (1470 km) east of Bermuda. Initially, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast the storm to transition into an extratropical cyclone within five days, due to conditions unfavorable for significant intensification. Epsilon continually defied forecasts, at first due to an unexpected loop to the southwest, and later due to retaining its strength despite cold waters and strong wind shear.
On December 1, Epsilon began a northeast motion due to an approaching trough, and the next day it attained hurricane status. After turning to the east, it developed characteristics of an annular hurricane, meaning it had a circular eye, a ring of convection, and had few fluctuations in its intensity. On December 5 Epsilon attained peak winds of 85 mph (140 km/h), and the next day it turned to the south and southwest. Late on December 7, the winds dropped below hurricane status for the first time in five days, making Epsilon the longest-lasting December hurricane on record. Stronger wind shear caused rapid weakening, and the storm could no longer be classified as a tropical cyclone late on December 8. The next day the remnant circulation of Epsilon dissipated.Hurricane Felix
Hurricane Felix was the southernmost landfalling Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic; surpassing Hurricane Edith of 1971. It was the sixth named storm, second hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. Felix formed from a tropical wave on August 31, passing through the southern Windward Islands on September 1 before strengthening to attain hurricane status. On the next day, Felix rapidly strengthened into a major hurricane, and early on September 3 it was upgraded to Category 5 status; at 2100 UTC on the same day, the hurricane was downgraded to Category 4 status, but strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane for the second and final time by the morning of September 4.
On September 4, Felix made landfall just south of the border between Nicaragua and Honduras, in the Mosquito Coast region, as a Category 5 hurricane with 160 mph (260 km/h) winds. Hurricane Felix struck Nicaragua on the same day as Hurricane Henriette struck the Baja California Peninsula in the eastern Pacific Ocean, which marked the second recorded occurrence that a North Atlantic hurricane and a Pacific hurricane made landfall on the same day; the previous occurrence was on August 23, 1992, when Hurricane Andrew hit the Bahamas on the same day Hurricane Lester hit Mexico's Baja California Peninsula. At least 133 deaths are attributed to Felix.Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence was a powerful and long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that caused catastrophic damage in the Carolinas in September 2018, primarily as a result of freshwater flooding. Florence dropped a maximum total of 35.93 inches (913 mm) of rain in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, becoming the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Carolinas, and also the eighth-wettest overall in the contiguous United States. The sixth named storm, third hurricane, and the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Florence originated from a strong tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on August 30, 2018. Steady organization resulted in the formation of a tropical depression on the next day near Cape Verde. Progressing along a steady west-northwest trajectory, the system acquired tropical storm strength on September 1, and fluctuated in strength for several days over open ocean. An unexpected bout of rapid intensification ensued on September 4–5, culminating with Florence becoming a Category 4 major hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale (SSHWS), with estimated maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 km/h).
Strong wind shear then tore the storm apart, and Florence degraded to a tropical storm by September 7. Shifting steering currents led to a westward turn into a more suitable environment; the system regained hurricane strength on September 9 and major hurricane status by the following day. At 16:00 UTC on September 10, Florence again became a Category 4 hurricane. Florence continued to strengthen into the next day, reaching a new peak on September 11, with 1-minute winds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 937 mbar (27.7 inHg). An unexpected eyewall replacement cycle and decreasing oceanic heat content caused the storm's winds to gradually taper over the next couple of days, though the storm's wind field continued to grow. By the evening of September 13, Florence had been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, though the storm began to stall as it neared the Carolina coastline. Early on September 14, Florence made landfall in the United States just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and weakened further as it slowly moved inland. Florence degenerated to a post-tropical cyclone over West Virginia on September 17, and two days later, the remnants of Florence were absorbed into another frontal storm.
Early in the storm's history, the system brought squall conditions to the Cape Verde islands, resulting in some landslides and flooding; but overall effects were negligible. With the threat of a major impact in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States becoming evident by September 7, the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Maryland, and the mayor of Washington, D.C. declared a state of emergency. On September 10 and 11, the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia all issued mandatory evacuation orders for some of their coastal communities, predicting that emergency personnel would be unable to reach people there once the storm arrived.
Despite making landfall as a weakened Category 1 hurricane, Florence still had enough wind speed to uproot trees and cause widespread power outages throughout the Carolinas. A ridge of high pressure over eastern North America stalled Florence's forward motion for several days while making landfall. This led to Florence moving forward at only 2–3 miles per hour (3.2–4.8 km/h); the storm continually dumped heavy rain along coastal areas from September 13, when the outer rain bands first began to be felt, to September 15, when the storm was still stalled out only a few miles west of Wilmington. Coupled with a large storm surge, this caused widespread flooding along a long stretch of the North Carolina coast, from New Bern to Wilmington. As the storm moved inland, from September 15 to 17, heavy rain caused widespread inland flooding, inundating cities such as Fayetteville, Smithfield, Lumberton, Durham, and Chapel Hill, as major rivers such as the Neuse River, Eno River, Cape Fear River, and Lumber River all spilled over their banks. Most major roads and highways in the area experienced some flooding, with large stretches of I-40, I-95, and US Route 70 remaining impassable for days after the storm had passed. The city of Wilmington was cut off entirely from the rest of the mainland by floodwaters. The storm also spawned tornadoes in several places along its path. Many places received record-breaking rainfall, with more than 30 inches (760 mm) measured in some locations. At least 54 deaths were attributed to the storm. Property damage and economic losses in the United States reached $24.23 billion (2018 USD), with $24 billion in damages in the Carolinas alone; estimated insured losses ranged between $4.8–5 billion. One preliminary estimate for North Carolina was nearly $17 billion (2018 USD), more than the damage from Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Floyd in that state combined.Hurricane Karen (2007)
Hurricane Karen was the eleventh named storm and fourth hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. Karen was a Cape Verde-type hurricane that developed in the eastern tropical Atlantic out of a large tropical wave. The storm briefly reached Category 1 hurricane intensity before slowly weakening due to increased wind shear. As the storm remained away from land, no damages or fatalities were reported in association with Karen.Meteorological history of Hurricane Wilma
Hurricane Wilma was the most intense tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin on record, with an atmospheric pressure of 882 hPa (mbar, 26.05 inHg). Wilma's destructive journey began in the second week of October 2005. A large area of disturbed weather developed across much of the Caribbean Sea and gradually organized to the southeast of Jamaica. By late on October 15, the system was sufficiently organized for the National Hurricane Center to designate it as Tropical Depression Twenty-Four.
The depression drifted southwestward, and under favorable conditions, it strengthened into Tropical Storm Wilma on October 17. Initially, development was slow due to its large size, though convection steadily organized. From October 18, and through the following day, Wilma underwent explosive deepening over the open waters of the Caribbean; in a 30-hour period, the system's central atmospheric pressure dropped from 982 mbar (29.00 inHg) to the record-low value of 882 mbar (26.05 inHg), while the winds increased to 185 mph (298 km/h). At its peak intensity, the eye of Wilma was about 2.3 miles (3.7 km) in diameter, the smallest known eye in an Atlantic hurricane. After the inner eye dissipated due to an eyewall replacement cycle, Hurricane Wilma weakened to Category 4 status, and on October 21, it made landfall on Cozumel and on the Mexican mainland with winds of about 150 mph (240 km/h).
Wilma weakened over the Yucatán Peninsula, and reached the southern Gulf of Mexico before accelerating northeastward. Despite increasing amounts of vertical wind shear, the hurricane re-strengthened to hit Cape Romano, Florida, as a major hurricane. Wilma weakened as it quickly crossed the state, and entered the Atlantic Ocean near Jupiter, Florida. The hurricane again re-intensified before cold air and wind shear penetrated the inner core of convection. By October 26, it transitioned into an extratropical cyclone, and the next day, the remnants of Wilma were absorbed by another extratropical storm over Atlantic Canada.Rapid intensification
Rapid intensification is a meteorological condition that occurs when a tropical cyclone intensifies dramatically in a short period of time. The United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) defines rapid intensification as an increase in the maximum 1-min sustained winds of a tropical cyclone of at least 30 knots (35 mph; 55 km/h) in a 24-hour period.Subtropical Storm Andrea
Subtropical Storm Andrea was the first named storm and the first subtropical cyclone of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. Andrea developed out of a non-tropical low on May 9 about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Daytona Beach, Florida, three weeks before the official start of the season. After encountering dry air and strong vertical wind shear, Andrea weakened to a subtropical depression on May 10 while remaining nearly stationary, and the National Hurricane Center discontinued advisories early on May 11. Andrea's remnant was subsequently absorbed into another extratropical storm on May 14. Andrea was the first pre-season storm to develop since Tropical Storm Ana in April 2003. Additionally, the storm was the first Atlantic named storm in May since Tropical Storm Arlene in 1981.The storm produced rough surf along the coastline from Florida to North Carolina, causing beach erosion and some damage. In some areas, the waves eroded up to 20 feet (6 m) of beach, leaving 70 homes in danger of collapse. Offshore North Carolina, high waves of 34 feet (10 m) and tropical-storm-force winds damaged three boats; their combined nine passengers were rescued by the Coast Guard, although all nine sustained injuries. Light rainfall was also reported in some coastal locations. Damage was minimal, but six people drowned as a result of the storm.
Located in: University Park, Florida