Good riddance! Hurricane season has officially come to an end. Much like the start of the season which started June 1st, the tail end of the season was quiet with the exception of one storm that didn’t want to go away (much like that one guest on Thanksgiving) as Sebastien managed to churn out in the open Atlantic in late November.
Now the numbers: the Atlantic saw 18 storms, 6 of those becoming hurricanes, 3 of which were major: Dorian, Humberto, and Lorenzo. This verifies NOAA’s forecast at the beginning of the season with a predicted 10-17 storms, 5-9 hurricanes, and 2-4 hurricanes at category 3 or higher. In all, a near to slightly above normal season in number but an active and above normal season in terms of energy as Dorian and Lorenzo managed to become intense category 5 storms. Meteorologists measure the total amount of energy produced by these storms through a metric known as ACE, “accumulated cyclone energy.” This year’s ACE was 129.8, well above the average of 106.
It was a busy year for NOAA as well as Hurricane Hunters flew over 430 hours in 57 missions to gather valuable data inside of these storms. To see how they manage to do this- watch this Moment of Science as we managed to meet the crew and go inside one of their aircraft.
For now we can breathe a sigh of relief that this year’s season was not worse. But next year’s season will be here before you know it, and Storm Team 2 will be there to keep you safe.
Storm Team 2 Meteorologist David Dickson