Summarizing the record-breaking hurricane season of 2017

It was a rough hurricane season for many across the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean islands.

The season got off to a quick start, with Tropical Storm Arlene developing in mid-April. This season marked the third straight season which had a named storm before the official start date of June 1st.

September is usually the most active month of tropical season, but this September was the most active September on record in terms of tropical activity.

The season finished with 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes. Most notable is the number of major hurricanes that developed.

The 1981-2010 average is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes–meaning we more than doubled the average amount of major hurricanes this year. The season featured the most named storms since 2012 and the most major hurricanes since 2005.

The major hurricanes this year were: Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria, Ophelia, and Lee.

Major Hurricane Irma reached winds of 185 mph, which makes it the second strongest hurricane (in terms of winds) on record, with the storm only falling behind 1980 Hurricane Allen (190mph) by 5 mph.

Irma also maintained winds of above 185 mph for 37 straight hours, which is a record in the Atlantic basin.

It moved over the island of Barbuda at peak intensity, basically depopulating the island and causing catastrophic damage.

Hurricane Harvey broke the major hurricane drought for the United States, as it had been since Hurricane Wilma (2005) that a major hurricane had struck the U.S.

It stalled over southeastern Texas, producing copious amounts of flooding.

According to the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, a rain gauge in southeastern Texas recorded a total of 64 inches of rain between August 24th and September 1st. This is a new rainfall record for a single tropical storm, breaking the old record of 52 inches.

This flooding was mainly caused by an area of high pressure, which formed to the west of Harvey as it moved inland, causing the storm to slowly stall and loop across southeastern Texas.

Major Hurricane Maria was actually stronger than Irma (in terms of pressure), reaching a central pressure of 908 millibars.

It hit Puerto Rico as a category four storm, devastating the island and knocking out power to 90 percent of the island.

Experts say it could take years for the island to recover.

As the storms piled up this season, so did the records. This is a season that has touched many lives. In fact, an estimated 441 people lost their lives during the storms of 2017. Hurricanes were also responsible for some 360 billion dollars in damage.




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