The first above-normal Atlantic hurricane season since 2012 ended on November 30th. There were 15 named storms including 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. The final totals fell within the range provided by NOAA’s updated hurricane season outlook provided in August. That prediction called for 12 to 17 named storms, 5 to 8 hurricanes, and 2 to 4 major hurricanes.
5 of the 15 named storms made landfall in the United States. That’s the highest number since 2008 when there were six landfalling storms. Two hurricanes, Matthew and Hermine, made landfall in the United States. Hermine was the first hurricane since Wilma in 2005 to strike Florida.
Hurricane Matthew was the strongest, longest-lived, and most destructive storm of the season. It was the first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007. The storm reportedly caused up to 1,600 deaths as it moved through the Caribbean and along the East Coast of the United States. The storm scraped the eastern Florida coast with strong winds and heavy rain. The damage was not as bad as feared in Florida, but incredibly heavy rain in the Carolinas led to record flooding on many rivers. 28 people were killed in North Carolina, and damage was estimated at $1.5 billion just in that state.
Hermine and Matthew were the two storms that put a brief scare into Connecticut residents. Both storms stayed away, with just some gusty wind and a few showers on Labor Day weekend from Hermine.
In addition to the active Atlantic hurricane season, the Central and Eastern Pacific hurricane season was also above normal.