Reporting David Bernard
MIAMI (CBS4) – South Florida breathed a sigh of relief as we dodged the annual bullet known as hurricane season.
However, the 2011 season did have some notable facts.
CBS 4 Chief Meteorologist David Bernard says the record books will show 19 storms formed in the Tropical Atlantic with 7 becoming hurricanes and 3 of those major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). According to NOAA, those 19 storms tied for the third most active hurricane season on record. 1887, 1995 and 2010 had just as many storms.
The average number of storms in a typical season is 11. So while, the number of tropical storms were well above average, the number of hurricanes was not. That number is usually around 6 hurricanes and two major.
Far and away the most notable and damaging hurricane was Irene causing over 10 billion dollars in damage and extensive flooding from the Carolinas to New England. It was the strongest storm to hit the Northeast since Hurricane Bob in 1991.
Also of note, another year went by without a major hurricane striking the United States. Bernard says the last major hurricane to hit the U.S. coastline was Wilma in 2005. However, he says based on storm surge alone one could argue that Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 should be considered major storms.