Experts: Hurricane season was ‘quiet’

Published 1:31 am Saturday, December 12, 2015

Scientists in Louisiana reported that the 2015 hurricane season was quiet, in accordance with pre-season predictions.

Barry Keim, principal investigator of the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) at Louisiana State University, said that it was predicted there would be between six to 11 named storms during the 2015 hurricane season. Ultimately, there were 11 named storms. The season officially ended Nov. 30.

Of those 11 named storms, four became hurricanes and two of those became “major hurricanes,” Keim said. There were only two landfalls in the U.S. this season — the first was Tropical Storm Ana, which made landfall in South Carolina in early May. The second was Tropical Storm Bill, which made landfall along the mid-Texas coast in late June.

Both storms had impacts and caused damage, but nothing on the scale of a severe hurricane.
The largest storm of the season was Hurricane Joaquin, which never made landfall in the U.S. but created high winds along the eastern U.S. coast. Those winds led to coastal flooding and severe erosion.

“Several storms formed this past season in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, but as they traveled westward they were torn apart by a region of upper air wind shear over the central and western Atlantic,” Keim said. “This protected the U.S. from several storms, and for that, we can thank El Niño.”

Keim said that this is the 10th straight season that there has not been a major hurricane landfall in the U.S. The last Category 3-5 hurricane to make a U.S. landfall was Hurricane Wilma in October of 2005.
“Hurricane records go back to 1851, and this is the longest time span without a major landfall,”Keim said. “The previous record was eight straight seasons from 1861 to 1868.”