Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. had this great set of factoids up on his blog, and I just can’t resist sharing. He writes:
Adam Lea, of University College London, shares these interesting hurricane factoids related the the remarkable dearth of US hurricane landfalls in recent years. His comments are reproduced here with his permission:
As the 2010 hurricane season (with 10 hurricanes) starts to wind down I thought I would share a few statistics on how unusual this season has been historically for its lack of US hurricane landfalls:
1. Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with 10 or more hurricanes where none has struck the US as a hurricane. The five previous seasons with 10 or more hurricanes each had at least two hurricane strikes on the US.
2. The last precedent for a La Nina year of the magnitude of 2010 which had no US-landfalling hurricane is 1973.
3. Since hurricane Ike (2008) there have been 16 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes. Such a sequence last happened between Irene (1999) and Lili (2002) with 22 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes, and between Allen (1980) and Alicia (1983) with 17 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes.
4. The period 2006-2010 is one of only three 5-year consecutive periods without a US major hurricane landfall (the other two such periods were 1901-1905 and 1936-1940). There has never been a six year period without a US major hurricane landfall.
5. Historically one in four Atlantic hurricanes strike the US as a hurricane. Thus the recent dearth in strikes should be ‘corrected’ in the next few years.
Give him some traffic, comment here. Dr. Pielke adds in another post:
(All data is from the ICAT Damage Estimator, total damages shown.)
Read the entire post here: The 2006-2010 RMS Hurricane Damage Forecast
Let me add a couple of points of interest to the already impressive set of facts.
From the National Hurricane Center (NHC) Hurricane History page:
This horrific tropical cyclone formed from the combination of a tropical wave, an upper-level trough, and the mid-level remnants of Tropical Depression Ten. A tropical depression formed on August 23 about 200 miles southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas. Moving northwestward, it became Tropical Storm Katrina during the following day about 75 miles east-southeast of Nassau. The storm moved through the northwestern Bahamas on August 24-25, and then turned westward toward southern Florida. Katrina became a hurricane just before making landfall near the Miami-Dade/Broward county line during the evening of August 25. The hurricane moved southwestward across southern Florida into the eastern Gulf of Mexico on August 26. Katrina then strengthened significantly, reaching Category 5 intensity on August 28. Later that day, maximum sustained winds reached 175 mph with an aircraft-measured central pressure of 902 mb while centered about 195 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Katrina turned to the northwest and then north, with the center making landfall near Buras, Louisiana at 1110 UTC August 29 with maximum winds estimated at 125 mph (Category 3). Continuing northward, the hurricane made a second landfall near the Louisiana/Mississippi border at 1445 UTC with maximum winds estimated at 120 mph (Category 3). Weakening occurred as Katrina moved north-northeastward over land, but it was still a hurricane near Laurel, Mississippi. The cyclone weakened to a tropical depression over the Tennessee Valley on 30 August. Katrina became an extratropical low on August 31 and was absorbed by a frontal zone later that day over the eastern Great Lakes.
The last hurricane to make landfall on the USA was Hurricane IKE, on Sept 13th, 2008. As of today, we now have 773 days since then. It is likely that we may see this extend to June 1st of next year, the official start of hurricane season when it will be 991 days. And if there is no US landfalling hurricane in the 9 days after that, it will hit 1000 days. Chances are good that this will happen.
The longest period of time the US went without a landfalling category 3 hurricane was from August 1999 with hurricane Bret CAT3, to August 2004 with hurricane Charley CAT4, a period of 5 years.