A Quiet End To A Quiet Hurricane Season — At Least For The U.S.

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season officially comes to an end today. This year was remarkable both for the number of storms it produced and how few of them threatened the United States. David Pitman has more.

The Atlantic Ocean spawned 19 named storms.  Five of them became hurricanes.   And the closest the U.S. came to feeling any of those hurricanes was Alex.  It made landfall back in June more than a hundred miles south of the Texas border with Mexico.  National Hurricane Center specialist Lixion Avila says we lucked out thanks to a persistent area of low pressure over the western Atlantic.

"And (that) steered the hurricanes northward before they could reach the United States.  Completely different from 2008, that instead of having a low-pressure system, we had a high-(pressure) system that pushed the storms toward the United States."

Atlantic Track Map 2010

2008, of course, was when Hurricane Ike struck Galveston.  Since then, we've gone two years in a row with no hurricane landfalls, anywhere in the country — the first time that's happened since the beginning of the decade.  Only one tropical storm, Bonnie, made it to the U.S. this year, making this the quietest two years for tropical storm arrivals since 1990.   And even though we're just putting the 2010 hurricane season to bed, the research team at Colorado State University is already preparing its first forecast for the 2011 season.  Those predictions are set to be released a week from tomorrow.

Bio photo of David Pitman

David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...