It’s November 30th, officially the end of the Atlantic hurricane season. The 2016 season concluded with 15 named storms and seven hurricanes, three of which were major hurricanes. However this season was an unusual one to say the least.
Meteorologists nationwide are perplexed by the longevity of this season. Our first named storm occurred in January. Yes, five months before the start of actual hurricane season! Remember Alex? Now let’s fast forward to November… Thanksgiving Day. Hurricane Otto, which now is the latest calendar year hurricane on record to form in the Caribbean, made landfall near San Juan de Nicaragua, Nicaragua.
Hurricanes throughout the season set records in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea. In terms of endurance, Hurricane Matthew maintained a Category 4-5 hurricane strength for over 6 days, claiming the top spot for the longest hurricane of that strength during the month of October in the Atlantic basin. Hurricane Alex came in first place, literally, as the earliest Atlantic Hurricane to form since 1938. And to finish the season, Hurricane Otto was the southernmost landfalling hurricane on record for Central America.
The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season was above-normal for the first time since 2012, with five landfalling storms (Bonnie, Matthew, Colin, Julia, and Hermine). Hurricane Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in nearly 11 years. Hurricane Matthew sparked concern and 24/7 coverage as it wobbled miles within Florida’s east coast before making landfall as a category 1 hurricane in South Carolina. According to NOAA, the storm was responsible for the “greatest U.S. loss of life” since Hurricane Floyd hit North Carolina in 1999.
The Wilkens Weather 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, issued in May, accurately predicted an above-average season with three major hurricanes.