« Mild night was the last for a while | Main | See the International Space Station this weekend »

September 16, 2008

A new hurricane record set?

Weather Underground

The National Hurricane Center said today it could not immediately confirm that this year's storm season marks the first time on record that that six consecutive named tropical storms or hurricanes have made landfall in the United States. The guy who  searches the records for such things is unavailable until Thursday.

But Weather Underground blogger Jeff Masters, citing NOAA data, reported during Hanna's romp up the coast that its landfall tied the previous record of five consecutive U.S. landfalls. That mark had been set and matched five times before:

2004: (Frances, Gaston, Hermine, Ivan, and Jeanne)
2002: (Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Isidore) (Familiar names? Atlantic storm names are recycled every six years, unless severe damage or loss of life prompt their retirement.)
1985: (Gloria, Henri, Isabel, Juan, and Kate)
1979: (Bob, Claudette, David, Elena, and Frederic)
1971: (Doria, Edith, Fern, Ginger, Heidi)

So it sure looks like we've established a new mark this year. Three of the last six named storms struck Texas. The others hit Florida, Louisiana and North Carolina. Get a better look at the above Weather Underground track map, here.

The assaults began on July 23 when Hurricane Dolly made landfall at South Padre Island in Texas as a 100-mph Cat. 2 storm. It spared human lives in Texas, but caused $1.2 billion in damage. At the time, it was the third costliest tropical system in Texas history. Flash flooding from Dolly's remnants killed two people in New Mexico.

On Aug. 5, Tropical Storm Edouard made landfall with heavy rains and 65 mph winds, near Port Arthur, Texas. Tropical Storm Fay drifted out of the Caribbean and made landfall on the Florida Keys, and then again in South Florida on Aug. 18. It crossed the peninsula, dumping huge amounts of rain that caused serious flooding before moving out into the Atlantic. Fay then turned west, crossed the peninsula again into the Gulf, and made landfall again on the Florida Panhandle. That made it the first storm in Florida history to make landfall there four times.

Hurricane Gustav made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 31, with 110 mph winds after weakening from a Cat. 4 to a Cat. 2 storm. It caused more flooding and an estimated $15 billion in U.S. damage. Hurricane Hanna developed on Sept. 1 but weakened during a long period wandering in the Bahamas. It then turned north and moved up the East Coast as a tropical storm. It made landfall in North Carolina Sept. 6 with top winds of 70 mph.

The sixth storm to make landfall in the U.S. was, of course, Hurricane Ike, which crashed ashore in Texas, near Galveston over the weekend, a 110-mph Cat. 2 storm. It has already been tagged with causing an estimated $27 billion in damage in the U.S., the third most destructive U.S. storm on record, after Andrew in 1992, and Katrina, in 2005. Better numbers are likely as more time passes.

In the meantime, check out these amazing before-and-after photos from the USGS. This is why people need to obey evacuation orders.

With two-and-a-half months to go, the 2008 season has so far produced more than half of the storms predicted for this year. 

Named storms: 10 (Colorado State Univ. forecast: 17. NOAA forecast: 14-18) 

Hurricanes: 5  (CSU: 9. NOAA: 7-10)

"Major" storms: 3  (CSU: 5. NOAA: 3-6)

Maybe we'll get lucky and find we're done. For now, the tropics remain quiet.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:49 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Hurricanes

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

Sign up for FREE weather alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for weather text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Maryland Weather Center

Area Weather Stations
Resources and Sun coverage
• Weather news

• Readers' photos

• Data from the The Sun's weather station

• 2011 stargazers' calendar

• Become a backyard astronomer in five simple steps

• Baltimore Weather Archive
Daily airport weather data for Baltimore from 1948 to today

• National Weather Service:
Sterling Forecast Office

• Capital Weather Gang:
Washington Post weather blog

• CoCoRaHS:
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Local observations by volunteers

• Weather Bug:
Webcams across the state

• National Data Buoy Center:
Weather and ocean data from bay and ocean buoys

• U.S. Drought Monitor:
Weekly maps of drought conditions in the U.S.

• USGS Earthquake Hazards Program:
Real-time data on earthquakes

• Water data:
From the USGS, Maryland

• National Hurricane Center

• Air Now:
Government site for air quality information

• NWS Climate Prediction Center:
Long-term and seasonal forecasts

• U.S. Climate at a Glance:
NOAA interactive site for past climate data, national, state and city

• Clear Sky Clock:
Clear sky alerts for stargazers


• Hubblesite:
Home page for Hubble Space Telescope

• Heavens Above:
Everything for the backyard stargazer, tailored to your location

• NASA Eclipse Home Page:
Centuries of eclipse predictions

• Cruise Critic: Hurricane Zone:
Check to see how hurricanes may affect your cruise schedule

• Warming World:
NASA explains the science of climate change with articles, videos, “data visualizations,” and space-based imagery.

• What on Earth:
NASA blog on current research at the space agency.
Most Recent Comments
Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected