Assessing hurricane season



With the official conclusion of the Atlantic hurricane season on 29 November, Irene was the only hurricane to strike the United States this year and the first one since Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas in 2008, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Irene “broke the ‘hurricane amnesia’ that can develop when so much time lapses between landfalling storms,” indicated Jack Hayes, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. “This season is a reminder that storms can hit any part of our coast and that all regions need to be prepared each and every season.” During the season, there were 19 tropical storms, including 7 that became hurricanes; 3 of those were major hurricanes, of category 3 or above. The activity level was in line with NOAA predictions. The agency stated that Hurricane Irene was an example of improved accuracy in forecasting storm tracks: NOAA National Hurricane Center had accurately predicted the hurricane's landfall in North Carolina and its path northward more than 4 days in advance.