Active Hurricane Season Comes To A Close

December 1, 2019

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season came to an end Saturday.

Escambia County’s most recent brush with tropical weather came in October when short-lived Tropical Storm Nestor passed to our south in the Gulf on the way to a landfall on St. Vincent Island near Apalachicola. The worst for Escambia County was the cautionary cancellation of activities including Friday night football.

The season produced 18 named storms, including six hurricanes of which three were “major” (Category 3, 4 or 5). NOAA’s outlook called for 10-17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes, and accurately predicted the overall activity of the season.

This year marked the fourth consecutive above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. The only other period on record that produced four consecutive above-normal seasons was 1998-2001. Also this year, five tropical cyclones formed in the Gulf of Mexico, which ties a record with 2003 and 1957 for the most storms to form in that region. Of those, three — Barry, Imelda and Nestor — made landfall in the U.S.

The three major hurricanes this season were Dorian, Humberto and Lorenzo. Hurricane Dorian is tied with three other hurricanes — the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, 1988’s Hurricane Gilbert and 2005’s Hurricane Wilma — as the second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin in terms of wind (185 mph). In all, four storms made landfall in the U.S. during the 2019 season: Barry, Dorian, Imelda and Nestor.

An average season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

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