The photo below is a stunning and novel piece of imagery and I commend NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Laboratory for this nicely done graphic. If they had done it last year, Al Gore would not have had to Photoshop in some fake (and reverse spinning) hurricanes for his most recent book. See: Not finding any, Gore airbrushes in hurricanes for his new book
The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season ends today after an incredibly active season. A total of 19 storms were named by the National Hurricane Center. This number ties 2010 with 1887 and 1995 for the 3rd most active season on record.
This level of activity was not unexpected, as initially NOAA predicted 14-23 named storms. Twelve of the storms became hurricanes, with sustained winds of at least 74 mph – tied for the second highest number on record. Five storms reached Category 3 strength (111-130 mph), and both Hurricane Igor and Julia reached Category 4 strength (131-155 mph) at the same time. The last time there were to Category 4 storms in the North Atlantic simultaneously was in 1926. Driving this activity was the intensifying La Niña in the Pacific. While La Niña typically produces very few storms in the Eastern Pacific, due to cooler ocean temperatures, it usually results in higher activity in the Atlantic. La Niña tends to reduce the amount of wind shear in the Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone, which in turn promotes the formation of storms.
Higher resolution images -2000 x 1500 pixels (suitable for Al Gore Book covers)