Weather Talk

2018 Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end

(LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - Friday, November 30 marks the official end of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season and it was quite an active year.

2018 was the 4th consecutive year hurricane activity started before June 1 with Tropical Storm Alberto forming on May 25.

The 2018 season was also the first since 2008 to have 4 named storms active at the same time (Florence, Helene, Issac and Joyce).

Looking over the season as a whole, we had 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. This compared to this year's "average" which called for 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

Throughout the season the NOAA Hurricane Hunters spent over 580 hours flying through storms to provide us with valuable data used for forecasting, research and emergency response plans. 

The two major hurricanes that resulted in catastrophic damage along the U.S. coastline were Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

Florence was a long lived storm that formed off the coast of Africa on August 31 and lasted through September 17.

Hurricane Florence was a category 4 storm at it's strongest point with sustained wind speeds of 140 mph before making landfall along the North Carolina Coast as a weak category 1 storm.

Don't let that category fool you because Florence was a slow moving storm resulting in flooding and a life-threatening storm surge.

Florence was also a record breaking storm as rivers broke their record flood levels.

The final river crested a month after Florence made landfall. 

Hurricane Michael was the strongest hurricane on record, striking the Florida Panhandle as a strong category 4 storm with sustained wind speeds of 155 mph.

This made Michael the strongest storm to make landfall along the U.S. in terms of wind speed.

Michael was also the third most intense hurricane to make landfall in the continental U.S. on record in terms of central pressure (919 mb).

Looking back the 2018 season it fell within NOAA's original 2018 hurricane outlook ranges; however, the 2018 season was more active than the revised NOAA outlook that came out in early August. 

With another hurricane season under our belts, it's time to learn from these storms and be prepared for the 2019 hurricane season.

 

 


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