It’s been nearly 12 years, or 4,253 days, since the last major hurricane made landfall in the U.S., which is the longest such period on record.
The news is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s great that no major hurricanes have landed in the U.S. in that time, but the unintended consequence could be people become more complacent about hurricane safety.
“US hurricane season has started (with no permanent NHC or FEMA directors in place, but I digress),” University of Colorado-Boulder researcher Roger Pielke wrote on his blog Thursday.
“As of today it has been 4,252 days since the last time a Category 3+ hurricane made a US landfall. That is long enough to get lazy and to forget. The streak will not last,” Pielke wrote.
On a global level, accumulated cyclone energy is at its lowest level on record, according to Colorado State University hurricane expert Philip Klotzbach.
Global Accumulated Cyclone Energy so far in 2017 remains at record low levels to date – only 45% of normal. pic.twitter.com/0fiRJbOG3b
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) June 14, 2017
Hurricane season started June 1, and government forecasters put a 45 percent chance on an above-normal storm season this year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts two to four major hurricanes, Category 3 or higher, forming in the Atlantic Ocean this year.
NOAA predicts “a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes,” according to its 2017 hurricane season prediction.
The last major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 — nearly 12 years ago.
“This major hurricane drought surpassed the previous record of eight years from 1861-1868 when no major hurricane struck the coast of the United States. On average, a major hurricane makes landfall in the U.S. about once every three years,” according to NOAA’s 2016 hurricane season report.
Though that doesn’t mean the U.S. has been spared damage from hurricanes.
The North Atlantic 2016 season was above average in terms of accumulated cyclone energy, according to NOAA, with three major storms. Hurricane Matthew nearly made landfall as a major hurricane in early October.
Matthew still caused billions of dollars worth of damage in the U.S. and Caribbean, forcing thousands to flee their homes. The storm is estimated to have killed more than 1,000 people in Haiti.
Private weather forecaster Joe Bastardi, however, says incorporating measurements from the whole storm and not just wind speed at the eyewall, the U.S. has been hit by major hurricanes more recently.
on my power and impact scale which incorporates pressure, Ike, Gustav and Sandy were majors, LOOKS AT WHOLE STORM
NOT JUST EYEWALL WIND
— Joe Bastardi (@BigJoeBastardi) June 16, 2017
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