Thursday, December 11, 2014

Despite Quiet Atlantic Hurricane Season, We're Still Emerging from the "Decade of Destruction"

Well another chapter in the Atlantic Hurricane Seasons book has closed, and this year was another quiet one. This year the basin observed eight named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes, which is less than the 1981-2010 climatological average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season                         1981-2010 Climatological Average
Named Storms: 8                                               Named Storms: 12
Hurricanes: 6                                                     Hurricanes: 6
Major Hurricanes: 2                                            Major Hurricanes: 3

 Hurricane Arthur had the biggest impact on the U.S. during the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The category-2 hurricane impacted the Carolinas on July 3-4, pushing storm surge into towns like Manteo, NC.

This season was the ninth consecutive year without a major hurricane landfall in the United States, which is the longest stretch since record keeping began in 1851 (Masters 2014). It was also the ninth consecutive year in which Florida did not observe a landfalling hurricane, which is the longest period for that state (Solomon 2014). And, interestingly enough, this year also ended with a powerful typhoon striking the Philippines near the end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season
 The UNC School of Government's Public Administration program created an infographic that summarizes severe hurricane impacts in the U.S. from 2004-2013.

However, before we let our guard down, we must remember that we are just coming off a very destructive decade of hurricane activity in the Atlantic. The University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Government's Public Administration program posted a fascinating infographic, called, "Decade of Destruction: The High Cost of Hurricanes," that captures climatological statistics and human impacts of this hazardous period, which they define as 2004-2013. The infographic can be found at this link:

 UNC's "Decade of Destruction" Infographic provides fascinating information related to the impact of hurricanes in the United States from 2004-2013.

This infographic contains many interesting factoids about hurricane impacts during the past decade. For example, did you know that hurricanes inflicted $310 billion in losses and claimed 2,334 deaths between 2004-2013? Did you know that 77 hurricanes and 35 major hurricanes formed in the Atlantic during this period? Or that the federal government only spends $1 on disaster reduction for every $6 it spends on disaster recovery?

These are just a few examples of hurricane impacts you'll find at this site. This is an excellent resource, as it's always important to step back and look at the bigger picture. Otherwise, it's easy to let our guard down after a few quiet seasons on the home front.

           The Infographic contains a mind-boggling graphic that summarizes financial losses of recent U.S. hurricanes. Yes, those numbers are BILLIONS of dollars!

Masters, J., 2014: The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season Ends with Below-Average Activity. Dr. Jeff Masters Wunderblog. Available on the Web at:

Solomon, J., 2014: For ninth year, Florida avoids hurricanes. Tampa Bay Times, November 30, 2014. Available on the Web at:

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