Costliest-ever hurricane season comes to an end - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Costliest-ever hurricane season comes to an end

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A satellite view of Hurricane Irma on September 8, 2017. (NOAA) A satellite view of Hurricane Irma on September 8, 2017. (NOAA)

Thursday marks the end of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, one of the most active and costly on record.

There were 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and six major (Category 3+) hurricanes.

Initial predictions for our hurricane season had begun in an  El Niño phase, which usually means a less active hurricane season. But conditions changed, and we shifted from an El Niño to a weak La Niña, developing a season that brought favorable conditions for hurricane development. 

With this phase shift vertical wind shears weakened, which made it easier for a tropical cyclone's center to align and strengthen. That's why our hurricane season was more intense than forecast.

Warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic basin also promoted hurricane intensification.

Some notable information about the 2017 season include:

  • Costliest season on record with more than $370 billion in damage
  • September was the most active month for hurricanes on record due to intensity and duration, with Hurricane Irma (Aug. 30- Sep 12), Jose (Sept. 5-22), Katia (Sept 5-9), Lee (Sept 15-30) and Maria (Sept 16-30).
  • Hurricane Harvey generated 60 inches of rainfall, the most in the continental U.S. from tropical cyclones
  • Hurricane Maria was the first hurricane to intensify from category 1 to 5 in 15 hours
  • Hurricane Nate was the fastest forward-moving hurricane at 28 mph
  • Hurricane Ophelia was the easternmost hurricane ever on record

With this winter phase being a La Niña, this could mean that the 2018 hurricane season will bring favorable conditions for another active season ahead. The 2018 season begins on June 1.

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