The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends on November 30, was marked by tropical activity that churned busily from mid-August through October.
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.
“During each and every hurricane season, thousands of workers across the federal government coordinate with NOAA to safeguard Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “From advanced warnings to business aid, the Department of Commerce stands ready to help Americans from a storm’s formation to long after its dissipation.”
This year marks 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.
“NOAA provided around-the-clock support to communities before, during and after each tropical weather threat,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “The expertise of our forecasters, coupled with upgrades like those to the Global Forecast System model and our next-generation environmental satellites, helped NOAA and its partners save lives and protect property all season long.”
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.