First Above-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season since 2012 has come to an end
This Atlantic hurricane season was the first above-normal season since 2012. There were 15 named storms during the 2016 season. Seven of those storms were hurricanes with three being major hurricanes, which means they were a Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Five storms made landfall in the United States this year, which is the most since 2008 when six storms struck.
Here is a quick look back at the storms this season --
Alex was an early bloomer and a hurricane that started well before the official season. It formed in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean in January before making landfall in the Azores as a tropical storm. Alex was the first hurricane to form in January since 1938 as well as the first hurricane to be ongoing in January since 1955.
Tropical Storm Bonnie formed a few days before the official season, on May 27. It made landfall on the Isle of Palms as a tropical depression bringing some heavy rain to the Lowcountry. Rainfall amounts ranged from close to two inches to over ten inches with most areas averaging at least four inches.
Tropical Storm Colin was the earliest third name storm on record in the Atlantic Ocean. It was also the first storm to form after the official start of the hurricane season. It made landfall in the Big Bend Region of Florida then trekked northeast while weakening but bringing rain to parts of the Southeast. Most of the Lowcountry received two inches of rain.
Tropical Storm Danielle was the earliest fourth named Atlantic storm on record. It made landfall near Tamiahua, Mexico, as a minimal tropical storm.
Hurricane Earl was the second hurricane of the season. It was the deadliest hurricane in the Atlantic to impact Mexico since Hurricane Stan in 2005.
Tropical Storm Fiona stayed over the open waters of the Atlantic.
Gaston was the first major hurricane of the season reaching Category 3 status. It stayed out over the open waters of the Atlantic.
Hermine was the first hurricane to form in the Gulf of Mexico since 2013. It made landfall along the Florida panhandle as a Category 1 hurricane then weakened to a tropical storm while moving northeast into the Lowcountry. The storm produced wind gusts up to 62mph and dumped two to seven inches of rain across the area. There were also two tornadoes in southeast Georgia.
Tropical Storm Ian was an uneventful storm that stayed in the middle of the Atlantic.
Tropical Storm Julia was the first tropical cyclone on record to form over Florida. It moved north through eastern Florida, eastern Georgia and then turned east before moving into the Lowcountry. Rainfall totals ranged from two to six inches across the area. There were also wind gusts up to 40mph, especially in inland areas.
Tropical Storm Karl was a fish storm, meaning it stayed out in the ocean.
Tropical Storm Lisa was another storm that stayed out in the Atlantic.
Hurricane Matthew was the second major hurricane of the season. It was the first Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic since Felix in 2007. Matthew moved north up the Florida coast as a major hurricane but weakened before making landfall near Cape Romain as a Category 1. There were hurricane force wind gusts up to 80mph near the coast. Rainfall amounts ranged from seven to eleven inches but most areas received at least ten inches.
Hurricane Nicole was the third and final major hurricane of the season as it reached Category 4 status. The eye passed over Bermuda and then not long after it became one of the largest Atlantic hurricanes on record.
Hurricane Otto was the seventh hurricane of the season. It made landfall on the southern coast of Nicaragua on Thanksgiving Day.
Official hurricane season is June 1 to November 30, but tropical cyclones can form before and after the season. The tropics remain quiet and will hopefully stay that way.