PHOTO GALLERY | Facts & stats for the 2017 hurricane season, so far
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
The 2017 hurricane season is already one for the record books. Since the season's official start on June 1, we've watched a steady stream of storm pop up and build up over the Atlantic basin. Here's a look at this season's storms so far, and a few facts to go with them.
So far there have been 13 named storms. Six peaked at tropical storm strength, and seven became hurricanes. Of those seven, four have become major hurricanes (category 3 or higher) with two of those reaching category 4 (Harvey, Jose) and the other two reaching category 5 (Irma, Maria).
Three of those major hurricanes impacted the same region of the Leeward Islands within a month's time-period. The last time that region was hit by two major hurricanes in one season was 1899.
A few facts about each named storm so far can be found below, or in the accompanying photo gallery.
- Tropical Storm Arlene
Formed in the central Atlantic on April 20. According to NOAA, this was only the second time ever since the satellite era began in the 1960's that a tropical system formed in the month of April. The first for that record was Tropical Storm Ana in 2003.
- Tropical Storm Bret
Formed SE of Trinidad Island on June 19, and traveled along the northern coast of South America until finally dissipating.
- Tropical Storm Cindy
Formed in the Gulf of Mexico on June 20. Made landfall just south of Lake Charles, LA on June 22. Flooding was the main issue as parts of Louisiana saw 12 inches of rain. Cindy was the first tropical system to make landfall in Louisiana since Hurricane Isaac in 2012.
- Tropical Storm Don
Formed July 17 hundreds of miles southeast of Barbados and weakened shortly thereafter.
- Tropical Storm Emily
Formed just off the west coast of Florida on July 31 and quickly dissipated after making landfall. Coastal South Carolina received some rain from the remnants of Emily.
- Hurricane Franklin
Formed August 6 over the western Caribbean and made landfall on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico as a tropical storm. Franklin then moved over open waters in the Gulf of Mexico and reformed into a Category 1 storm before making landfall in Veracruz, Mexico on August 10.
- Hurricane Gert
Formed in the Atlantic hundreds of miles off the South Carolina coast on August 13. Became a hurricane on August 14 and continued to trek northeast until dissipating.
- Hurricane Harvey
Initially formed into a tropical storm on August 17 east of Barbados in the Atlantic. It weakened back into a depression while crossing the Caribbean and stayed a tropical depression when it crossed the Yucatan Peninsula. When the storm moved back over the Gulf of Mexico, it rapidly reformed into a Hurricane on August 24. Harvey made landfall as a category 4 storm on August 25 in Texas. The storm was the first hurricane to make landfall in the continental US as a major hurricane since Wilma in 2005, breaking a record 142 month streak with no major hurricane landfalls in the US. The worst of Harvey's damage came from flooding. Pending changes in the preliminary readings, Harvey holds the record for the most rain dropped by a tropical cyclone in the lower 48 states. A whopping 51.88 inches of rain fell at Cedar Bayou near Highland, TX, breaking the old record of 48 inches from Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978. For comparison, Charleston averages 51.06 inches of rain a year. Harvey's rains covered a huge region of SE Texas and far SW Louisiana. An area the size of West Virginia saw more than 20 inches of rain, while an area the size of Delaware saw more than 40 inches of rain. Initial estimates Moody's Analytics and reported by CNN (found HERE) put Harvey's total costs at around $75 billion.
- Hurricane Irma
A Cape Verde hurricane that formed south of the Cabo Verde Islands on August 30. The storm quickly became a major category 3 hurricane on August 31 as it slowly moved across the Atlantic. Irma became a Category 5 hurricane on September 5 and caused catastrophic damage on several Caribbean islands in the Lesser Antilles, and major damage to several other Caribbean islands. It made landfall in the US as a category 4 storm in the Florida Keys on September 10, with tropical storm force winds and storm surge hitting the Charleston area on September 11. Irma broke several records on it's path of destruction. It was the first category 5 hurricane of the 2017 season, and the first in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin since Matthew of 2016. It was the first category 5 storm in the tropical Atlantic (Ocean region south of 20°N latitude) since Hugo of 1989. With maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, Irma is tied for the second strongest maximum winds of any Atlantic storm. Hurricane Allen of 1980 still holds the number one spot with maximum sustained wind speeds of 190 mph. Irma maintained its maximum wind speed of 185 mph for a world record setting 37 hours, smashing the old record of 24 hours set by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. A lot more facts about Irma can be found HERE on a page from Colorado State University.
- Hurricane Jose
Formed on September 5 hundreds of miles east of the Lesser Antilles as a tropical storm and became a hurricane on September 6. By September 8, the storm was a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (Cat 5 starts at 157 mph). The storm moved by the Leeward Islands not long after they were hit by Hurricane Irma causing more problems for those people. It weakened back into a tropical storm on September 14, and then became a hurricane again on September 15. The storm moves up the east coast and becomes a tropical storm again on September 19. Currently it's off the New England coast slowly dissipating.
- Hurricane Katia
Formed on September 6 in the southern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. It peaked as a category 2 storm on September 7 and weakened back to a Category 1 just before it made landfall in Veracruz, Mexico on September 8. Katia was a Hurricane at the same time as Irma and Jose. While it's not unheard of, it's not very common for the Atlantic basin to have three hurricanes at the same time.
- Tropical Storm Lee
Formed out into the Atlantic on September 16. Shortly weakened into a tropical depression the very next day.
- Hurricane Maria
Formed into a tropical storm on September 16, became a category 1 hurricane on September 17, and became a Category 5 hurricane on September 18. Winds with Hurricane Maria peaked at 175 mph but made landfall in Puerto Rico as a major category 4 hurricane with 155 mph on September 19. This is the first category 4 storm to strike the island directly since 1932. Other major hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico more recently as category 3's was Georges in 1998, and Hugo in 1989. Maria is currently tracking NE and looks to move east of the US mainland.