What hurricane season was like the year you were born

Written by:
August 27, 2020
Mario Tama // Getty Images

What hurricane season was like the year you were born

The fast winds, rapid rainfall, and large storm surges of hurricanes make this natural disaster responsible for many deaths and dollars worth of damage each year. Able to trigger flash floods, mudslides, and tornadoes, even weak hurricanes can cause extensive destruction to property, infrastructure, and crops. Other hurricanes remain at sea and never make landfall, limiting the destruction they cause. Advancements in technology over the years, particularly satellite imaging, have greatly improved warnings and advisories that have prompted live-saving evacuations. But not all lives can be spared.

Also known as tropical cyclones, hurricanes are large, wet storms with high winds that form over warm water. Hurricane season in the Atlantic basin—the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea—runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 each year, though some hurricanes do form outside of this season. Many tropical storms are produced on an average year, and not all reach the strength of hurricanes.

Hurricanes are rated using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Category 1 hurricanes have the lowest wind speeds at 74-95 miles per hour. Category 5 hurricanes have the strongest winds at 157 miles per hour or higher. Hurricanes that are Category 3 and above are considered major hurricanes.

And it seems hurricanes and other weather disasters are becoming increasingly destructive. There were 18 named storms and six hurricanes during the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, and three of the six hurricanes were considered major. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2019 marked "the fourth consecutive above-normal Atlantic hurricane season."

Some hurricane seasons are worse than others. In 1920, the strongest hurricane was a Category 2 storm that killed one person in Louisiana. Others are devastating and destroy entire cities. Hurricane Katrina, an infamous storm that struck the U.S. in 2005, delivered lasting damage to New Orleans and cost the country over $100 billion.

Stacker obtained hurricane data, updated in 2019, from the NOAA's Atlantic Oceanic and Meteorological Laboratory. A list of notable events or facts that occurred every year was compiled from news, scientific, and government reports. Read on to learn about the notable tropical storms and hurricanes from the year you were born.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1919: The Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane

- Named storms: 5 (5.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 2 (3.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

Because there was no satellite imagery at the time, meteorologists temporarily lost track of the Category 4 Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane of 1919 when ships stopped transmitting information about it. This hurricane, ranked the third most intense in the U.S., is the deadliest hurricane to ever hit the Coastal Bend of Texas alongside the east coast of the state. The hurricane caused more than 500 people to die or be lost due to sinking or missing ships.

[Pictured: Map plotting the track and the intensity of the 1919 hurricane, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale.]

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Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

1920: Louisiana hurricane kills one person

- Named storms: 5 (5.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 0 (2.48 less than average)

The 1920 hurricane season was less active than usual. One of the most notable storms was a Category 2 hurricane that hit Louisiana, killing one person. The storm ruined the sugar crop and caused $1.45 million in total damages.

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State Library and Archives of Florida // Wikimedia Commons

1921: The forgotten nightmare hurricane

- Named storms: 7 (3.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

On Oct. 28, 1921, the most damaging hurricane to hit Tampa Bay, Florida, since 1848 made landfall. The unnamed hurricane killed eight people and cost over $5 million, not adjusted for inflation. It smashed boats against docks and destroyed parts of the local sea wall.

[Pictured: Wreckage of Safety Harbor Springs pavillion after the 1921 hurricane.]

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Canva

1922: An international hurricane season

- Named storms: 5 (5.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

No hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. during the 1922 hurricane season. However, a hurricane that downgraded to a tropical storm did strike El Salvador, causing the Rio Grande to overflow and costing more than $5 million.

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Everett Collection // Shutterstock

1923: Four hurricanes hit the U.S.

- Named storms: 9 (1.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

The 1923 hurricane season contained the most tropical storms since 1916. This count included four hurricanes that touched down in the U.S., three of which made landfall along the Gulf Coast and one that hit Massachusetts.

[Pictured: 1923 Atlantic hurricane season summary map.]

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Maksmilian // Shutterstock

1924: First Category 5 on record

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

A Category 5 hurricane struck Cuba during the 1925 season. This unnamed storm is the first Category 5 hurricane on record in the hurricane database managed by the National Hurricane Center.

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Topical Press Agency // Getty Images

1925: Latest hurricane to hit the U.S.

- Named storms: 4 (6.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 1 (4.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 0 (2.48 less than average)

The 1925 season started late, with the first hurricane beginning on Aug. 18. The season also included a late hurricane that made landfall in Florida on Nov. 30, the latest hurricane to hit the U.S. as of 2007.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1926: A deadly hurricane season

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 6 (3.52 more than average)

Of the eight hurricanes in the 1926 season, four proved particularly deadly. Of these four, the July storm killed 247 people, the August storm killed 25, the September storm killed 372, and the October storm killed 709.

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Canva

1927: Storms pass the U.S., hit Canada

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

No hurricanes struck the U.S. this year. The most significant one of the 1927 season was nicknamed The Great August Gales. It was the deadliest tropical storm to hit Canada in the 1920s.

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Keystone-France // Getty Images

1928: Second deadliest to hit U.S.

- Named storms: 6 (4.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

Killing between 2,500 and 3,000 people, the Okeechobee Hurricane is one of the deadliest to ever hit the U.S. The hurricane also hit Puerto Rico, landing on Sept. 13, on the feast day of Saint Philip. It is the second hurricane to hit Puerto Rico on this day of celebration.

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Topical Press Agency // Getty Images

1929: A three-day stationary hurricane

- Named storms: 5 (5.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

The Great Bahamas Hurricane, also known as the Great Andros Island hurricane, barely moved over the course of three days, staying above Nassau and Andros in the Bahamas. It was also the first hurricane to approach the Bahamas from a northeast direction.

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Keystone-France // Getty Images

1930: Fifth deadliest Atlantic hurricane

- Named storms: 3 (7.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 2 (3.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Though 1930 had a quiet hurricane season, it also had one of the deadliest hurricanes ever in the Atlantic. This storm, the Dominican Republic Hurricane, is the fifth deadliest in the region in history. It created a 20-mile wide path of destruction through the Dominican Republic and killed between 2,000 and 8,000 people, though it also brought much-needed rain to Puerto Rico.

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ullstein bild Dtl. // Getty Images

1931: Deadliest hurricane to hit Belize

- Named storms: 13 (2.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

During the 1931 season, a Category 4 hurricane hit Belize, known as British Honduras, killing about 2,500 people. It is the deadliest hurricane to hit Belize in recorded history.

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Keystone-France // Getty Images

1932: Category 4 Hurricane strikes Cuba

- Named storms: 15 (4.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 4 (1.52 more than average)

A Category 4 storm known as the Huracán de Santa Cruz del Sur hit Cuba in 1932, causing 3,500 fatalities. Most of the deaths were due to a storm surge that topped out at about 20 feet.

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tuaindeed // Shutterstock

1933: Second most active hurricane season

- Named storms: 20 (9.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 11 (5.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 6 (3.52 more than average)

This season is the second most active hurricane season in the Atlantic basin in recorded history. It also contained the highest amount of wind energy during a hurricane season in the Atlantic until 2011.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1934: Tropical storm kills 3,000 people

- Named storms: 13 (2.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

A tropical storm that later became a hurricane killed 3,000 people in Honduras and El Salvador in June 1934. Many of the deaths were due to heavy rainfall that triggered flash floods and mudslides.

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Keystone-France // Getty Images

1935: Category 5 Labor Day Hurricane

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

At the time of its landfall, the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was one of the strongest to touch down on the U.S. It was also the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the U.S. in the 1900s, followed by only two others. Although not nearly as strong as the Labor Day Hurricane, a Category 1 hurricane also killed 2,150 people in Haiti and Honduras in October of this year.

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ullstein bild Dtl. // Getty Images

1936: Fifth most active hurricane season

- Named storms: 17 (6.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

The 1936 hurricane season is the fifth most active season in recorded history in the Atlantic, dating back to records beginning in 1851. However, there were fewer tropical storms than usual in the Caribbean Sea this year.

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Oskari Porkka // Shutterstock

1937: A short hurricane season

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

The first tropical disturbance of the 1937 hurricane season was on July 29, and the last subsided on Oct. 4. This duration is comparatively short, and it also saw less than expected activity in the Caribbean Sea.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1938: Fastest hurricane eye movement

- Named storms: 9 (1.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 had the fastest movement speed of an eye of a hurricane ever recorded. In 12 hours, the storm traversed 600 miles, moving more than 60 miles per hour. It earned the nickname The Long Island Express due to its train-like high speeds.

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ullstein bild via Getty Images

1939: Four hurricanes strike southern California

- Named storms: 6 (4.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

In the 1939 season, four hurricanes hit southern California during September for the first time in recorded history. A tropical storm in the area named The Lash of St. Francis led to the greatest amount of rainfall recorded locally at the time.

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CORBIS/Bettmann Archive // Getty Images

1940: Wettest hurricane in Louisiana history

- Named storms: 9 (1.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 0 (2.48 less than average)

An unnamed hurricane during 1940 is the wettest ever recorded in Louisiana's history. Rainfall from the storm peaked in the city of Crowley with 33.71 inches of rain.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1941: Unnamed Hurricane breaches Texas seawall

- Named storms: 6 (4.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

A September hurricane breached the seawall in Texas near East Matagorda Bay. Water from the rising tide flooded residential and business areas and even covered a local airport in water up to 3 feet. The hurricane cost $7 million in all, with $5 million attributed to crop damage.

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Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

1942: Multiple hurricanes batter Texas

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

The 1942 season is only one of seven in which multiple hurricanes have made landfall in Texas. One of these hurricanes hit Matagorda Bay, causing eight fatalities, $11.5 million in property damage, and $15 million in crop damage.

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Historical // Getty Images

1943: Surprise Hurricane during World War II

- Named storms: 10 (0.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

During World War II, ship broadcasts in the Gulf of Mexico went silent so the military could keep a lookout for German U-boats. The silence meant there were no transmissions on weather conditions, so the hurricane that hit the Houston-Galveston area in Texas had no warning, earning its nickname as the Surprise Hurricane.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1944: Hurricane sinks World War II ships

- Named storms: 14 (3.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

The Great Atlantic Hurricane made landfall on Long Island and Rhode Island, causing 46 direct fatalities and $100 million in damages in the U.S. the storm also sank five World War II vessels, killing 334 additional people.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1945: Homestead Hurricane destroys blimp hangars

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

The Homestead Hurricane's winds started a fire that destroyed wooden hangars used during World War II to house blimps used to protect convoys. The storm also destroyed 25 blimps and 150 automobiles and injured 200 people in the fire.

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PA Images // Getty Images

1946: No hurricane deaths in U.S.

- Named storms: 6 (4.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

No lives were lost to tropical storms in the U.S. this season, and property damage stayed under $10 million. By the time storms reached the U.S. coast this season, they were too mild to cause much damage.

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Photo 12 // Getty Images

1947: Attempts to weaken a hurricane

- Named storms: 9 (1.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

The government and private groups tried to weaken a hurricane for the first time in 1947, such as by spreading dry ice throughout the storm. The Air Force also led a flight into the hurricane, marking the first time experts obtained a detailed examination of circulation within the upper level of the core of a hurricane.

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Florida Keys--Public Libraries // Wikimedia Commons

1948: Two hurricanes hit south Florida

- Named storms: 9 (1.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 4 (1.52 more than average)

Two hurricanes hit South Florida two weeks apart and caused extensive damage through flooding. The first hurricane of the 1948 season reportedly had gusts reaching 160 miles per hour and produced 6 feet of storm surge, a rise in seawater levels due to a storm.

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Pixabay

1949: Hurricane damages fruit in Florida

- Named storms: 13 (2.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

An August hurricane in the 1949 seasons caused severe damage to citrus crops. It cost Florida $20 million in agricultural damage, including a loss of an estimated 14 million boxes of fruit.

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Evans // Getty Images

1950: Hurricanes are given names

- Named storms: 13 (2.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 11 (5.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 8 (5.52 more than average)

1950 was the first year that hurricanes in the Atlantic were given names. The new convention was to use names from the British–U.S. World War II spelling alphabet, starting with Hurricane Able. The fifth hurricane of the season, Hurricane Easy, devastated the town of Cedar Key in Florida.

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University of Southern California // Getty Images

1951: Hurricane Charlie hits Jamaica

- Named storms: 10 (0.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 5 (2.52 more than average)

No hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. this year. However, Hurricane Charlie, the third hurricane of the season, was one of the most destructive up to that point in recorded history, killing more than 100 people in Jamaica and causing up to $50 million in damage.

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Smith Collection/Gado // Getty Images

1952: A rare winter tropical storm

- Named storms: 7 (3.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

An unnamed winter tropical storm hit Florida on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2 and Feb. 3 well before the start of the 1952 hurricane season in June. The storm struck as a tropical depression and damaged many crops.

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Dean Conger // Getty Images

1953: Hurricane naming system changes again

- Named storms: 14 (3.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 4 (1.52 more than average)

In 1953, the U.S. scrapped the military name system from 1950 and opted for an all-female list of names. The strongest hurricane this year was Hurricane Carol, which caused $1 million in damage to fishing craft along the New England coast alone.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1954: Storms wallop New England

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Up until 1954, most people believed that hurricanes spared New England, but when tropical cyclones hit the region twice this year, people's minds began to change. The storms came close to destroying some towns in Rhode Island. In addition, Hurricane Carol caused more property damage than any other hurricane by that point in recorded history.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1955: Hurricanes Diane and Connie

- Named storms: 12 (1.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 9 (3.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 6 (3.52 more than average)

Hurricane Diane followed so soon after Hurricane Connie that floods caused more property damage than any hurricane in history up until that point. The two hurricanes hit the coast of North Carolina just five days apart. Like the previous year, the damage was concentrated in the Northeast.

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ullstein bild Dtl. // Getty Images

1956: A mild hurricane season

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

The 1956 season featured few hurricanes, and those that formed were of low intensity, especially compared to the years prior. Hurricane Flossy was the only one to touch down on the contiguous U.S., causing heavy rainfall in Alabama and Florida.

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Shel Hershorn - HA/Inactive // Getty Images

1957: A destructive June hurricane

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Hurricane Audrey was one of the most destructive hurricanes to happen in June up to that point, leading to 390 deaths. Audrey was also the likely cause of several tornadoes reported around the strike zone around this time. The storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane around the Louisiana-Texas border.

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Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

1958: No hurricanes until August

- Named storms: 10 (0.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 5 (2.52 more than average)

The 1958 season didn't have significant storm activity over the Atlantic until mid-August. However, hurricane activity for the season was about average for the time, so the latter part of the season was busy. Hurricane Helene was one of the most intense and destructive of the season, causing $11 million in damage in North Carolina, though it led to no fatalities.

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United States Marine Corps

1959: Hurricane Gracie evacuation saves lives

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Several of the hurricanes of 1959 were weak, barely reaching hurricane status. Hurricane Gracie, which occurred late in the season, was one of the most intense, causing 22 out of 24 fatalities this year. It was the only major hurricane to reach the U.S. mainland, and many people could evacuate because of accurate warnings, resulting in a low number of deaths.

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H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock // Getty Images

1960: Hurricane Donna reaches far

- Named storms: 7 (3.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Hurricane Donna, which hit in September 1960, is the only hurricane to have caused hurricane-scale winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic states, and New England. It is the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the U.S., and it killed 50 people in the states. However, there were more fatalities elsewhere, including 107 in Puerto Rico.

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Flip Schulke Archives // Getty Images

1961: Hurricane Carla forces evacuation

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 7 (4.52 more than average)

Hurricane Carla was Category 5 until just before its landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm. Still, Carla was one of the largest and most intense hurricanes to ever strike the Gulf Coast. However, only 46 people died because early warning allowed about half a million people to evacuate.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1962: A quiet year for hurricanes

- Named storms: 5 (5.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

With significantly fewer storms and hurricanes than usual, 1962 was the quietest hurricane season since 1939. The storms that occurred were less intense than expected. The first hurricane of the season, dubbed Alma, barely reached hurricane status and only stayed a hurricane for a few hours.

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Duke University Rubenstein Library/Gado // Getty Images

1963: Hurricane Flora strikes Haiti

- Named storms: 9 (1.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

The 1963 hurricane season started slow, but there were only two days without tropical cyclones appearing on weather charts from Sept. 10 to the end of October. Hurricane Flora was the deadliest to date in the Atlantic, killing an estimated 6,892 people. It hit Haiti the hardest, killing an estimated 5,000 people in the country.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1964: Four hurricanes hit U.S. mainland

- Named storms: 12 (1.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 6 (3.52 more than average)

The 1964 season included four hurricanes that hit the U.S. mainland, which had only happened four other times since 1900 up to that point. Hurricane Cleo killed 214 people, and the Category 4 Hurricane Dora cost $240 million in damages, which is $1.9 billion when adjusted for inflation.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1965: Official hurricane season is established

- Named storms: 6 (4.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

1965 marked the establishment of the official hurricane season in the Atlantic, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Hurricane season accounts for 97% of all tropical cyclone activity in that area. In 1965, Hurricane Betsy caused major damage as one of the costliest storms ever, including knocking out 90% of power in New Orleans.

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Photoshot // Getty Images

1966: Alma and Inez break records

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

Hurricane Alma, the first storm of the 1966 season, arrived earlier than any other hurricane within the season since 1825. Hurricane Inez had the most advisories posted than any hurricane before with a total of 65. Inez was also the first hurricane to hit all the West Indies, the Bahamas, Florida, and Mexico.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1967: Satellites track late hurricanes

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

The 1967 season had a record number of hurricanes for a season that started so late. 1967 was also the first year that satellite images were available to track hurricanes and provide daily views of storms stretching across the entire Atlantic. This season also saw the rare events of three hurricanes existing at the same time.

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Boston Globe // Getty Images

1968: Hurricane Gladys ends a drought

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 0 (2.48 less than average)

With no major storms, 1968 had an unusually calm hurricane season. Hurricane Gladys, the only one to hit the U.S., brought rainfall that broke a drought in North Carolina that was the worst since 1932. However, Gladys also killed five people and caused $6.7 million in damages, mostly to Florida.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1969: Hurricane Camille devastates the U.S.

- Named storms: 18 (7.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 12 (6.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 5 (2.52 more than average)

Hurricane Camille was a Category 5 storm with winds reaching an estimated 200 miles per hour. It is one of the most expensive hurricanes in U.S. history. Camille caused intense damage, even splitting in half Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi with its heavy rain and winds.

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Denver Post // Getty Images

1970: Hurricane Celia has destructive winds

- Named storms: 10 (0.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

The only hurricane that greatly impacted the U.S. during the 1970 season was Hurricane Celia. The storm caused $454 million in property damage. Almost all of the damage was due to wind, not water.

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Spencer Grant // Getty Images

1971: Hurricane Ginger sets long-lasting record

- Named storms: 13 (2.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

Hurricane Ginger broke records during the 1971 season, becoming the second-longest-running hurricane in the Atlantic basin at 27 days, a record still held to this day. In contrast, Hurricane Kirsty this season only lasted one day.

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The Washington Post // Getty Images

1972: Category 1 Hurricane wreaks havoc

- Named storms: 7 (3.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 0 (2.48 less than average)

There were fewer tropical storms and hurricanes in 1972 than any year since 1930—most of the storms formed in temperate waters instead of tropical waters. The only one that did form in the tropics was Hurricane Agnes, which killed 130 people and caused $2 billion in damage in Pennsylvania alone, making it the first Category 1 storm in the Atlantic to have its name retired.

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Dave Mathias/The Denver Post via Getty Images

1973: One of the least damaging seasons

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

1973 was one of the least damaging hurricane seasons, only killing 16 people throughout the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico and causing less than $20 million in damage. No hurricanes crossed the U.S. coastline.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1974: Hurricane Fifi strikes Honduras

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Hurricane Fifi brushed by the coast of Honduras and made landfall in Belize, though it caused much more damage to the former country. In some regions, Fifi caused 24 inches of rain in 36 hours, triggering mudslides and flash floods that destroyed 182 towns and killed 8,000 people. A natural dam gave way in the town of Choloma, causing 2,300 fatalities.

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NOAA Photo Library // Wikimedia Commons

1975: Hurricane Eloise destroys Alabama crops

- Named storms: 9 (1.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

After five years of low hurricane activity in the Atlantic, 1975 ushered in a return to normalcy. Hurricane Eloise was the most destructive this season and the only one to make landfall in the U.S. It caused more than $100 million in agricultural losses in Alabama.

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David Cupp/The Denver Post via Getty Images

1976: Hurricane Belle destroys Northeast crops

- Named storms: 10 (0.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Hurricane Belle was one of two named storms to hit the U.S. in 1976, though the other barely classified as a tropical storm. Belle weakened significantly the day before it hit Long Island, yet it still caused an estimated $100 million in damage in the U.S., mostly due to crop damage in the Northeast.

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ajicphotos // Shutterstock

1977: Anita brings a late start

- Named storms: 6 (4.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

The first hurricane of the 1977 season, Anita, didn't land until Aug. 29. It was one of the most intense storms ever in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Anita primarily hit Mexico, where 35,000 people were evacuated from, with another 65,000 evacuating from Texas and Louisiana.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1978: All-female storm names end

- Named storms: 12 (1.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

1978 was the last year that Atlantic tropical storms were solely given female names, and the next year included both male and female names. Hurricane Greta hit Central America this season, killing four people in Belize and one in Honduras.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1979: Three tropical storms smash records

- Named storms: 9 (1.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Hurricane David hit Dominica in 1979, leaving 60,000 people homeless. David also killed 2,000 people and left 200,000 homeless in the Dominican Republic. Hurricane Frederic, was the costliest in U.S. history to that point, causing $2.3 billion in damage.

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Jay Phagan // Wikimedia Commons

1980: Allen prompts oil rig evacuations

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 9 (3.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Hurricane Allen was the most noteworthy storm of the 1980 season, a Category 5 hurricane that affected Haiti, Texas, and several Caribbean countries. Allen destroyed two offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and 13 people died in a helicopter crash in a rig evacuation. Half a million people living along the Gulf of Mexico evacuated.

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Mia2you // Shutterstock

1981: Five hurricanes in September

- Named storms: 12 (1.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

There were no named storms in the Gulf of Mexico in 1981, which had only happened twice before in the 20th century. The season also included five hurricanes in one month, September, which has only ever been recorded twice before.

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Joe Runci/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

1982: Least active season since 1931

- Named storms: 6 (4.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 2 (3.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

1982 was the least active hurricane season in 50 years based on the number of hurricanes and the number of days of hurricanes, which was only six. Like 1981, no hurricanes struck the contiguous U.S. this year—only the second time that century the U.S. was spared for two years in a row.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1983: Alicia ends hurricane drought

- Named storms: 4 (6.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

Hurricane Alicia ended the longest period in the 20th century without a hurricane hitting the contiguous U.S. on Aug. 18. Though Alicia was a small Category 3 storm, it spawned 23 tornadoes, killed 21 people, and caused over $2 billion in damages.

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Ted Dully/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

1984: Hurricane Diana hits eastern U.S.

- Named storms: 13 (2.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

Hurricane Diana was the first and strongest hurricane of the 1984 season and the most intense to hit the Eastern U.S. coast since Hurricane Hazel in 1954. Diana caused $65 million in damages, of which $26 million can be attributed to agricultural damage.

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Bettmann // Getty Images

1985: Worst season in 69 years

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

The 1985 hurricane season was considered the worst in 69 years, causing $4.45 billion in damages and leading a million people to evacuate. Six hurricanes and one tropical storm hit the contiguous U.S., the most since 1916. The storms killed 100 people in Puerto Rico, 36 in the U.S., and 10 in Cuba.

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Independent News and Media // Getty Images

1986: Strongest hurricane doesn't make landfall

- Named storms: 6 (4.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 0 (2.48 less than average)

The strongest hurricane of the 1986 season was Earl, which was also the longest-lived of the season with seven days of hurricane-force winds. However, Earl didn't make landfall. Two hurricanes, Bonnie and Charley, did hit the U.S., causing $2 million and $15 million in damages, respectively.

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WALTER ASTRADA/AFP via Getty Images

1987: Hurricane Emily breaks Caribbean silence

- Named storms: 7 (3.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

Hurricane Emily was the first major hurricane to hit the Caribbean Islands since 1980, an unusually long stretch without hurricanes in the region. Emily killed three in the Dominican Republic, and experts suspect it would have been more if the storm had hit 20 or 30 miles to the east.

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Colin McConnell // Getty Images

1988: Most destructive in Jamaican history

- Named storms: 12 (1.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

Hurricane Gilbert hit Jamaica as a Category 3 storm, the country's first direct hit in 37 years, before striking Mexico first as a Category 5 storm and again as a Category 2 storm. The hurricane damaged 95% of Jamaica's hospitals and destroyed half of the country's domestic water supply. Gilbert cost $4 million in damages in Jamaica alone and is the most destructive hurricane in the nation's history.

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Donald Wernly/NOAA // Wikimedia Commons

1989: Hurricane Hugo wipes out bananas

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Hurricane Hugo, a Category 5 storm that downgraded to Category 4 before landfall, impacted the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and South and North Carolina. Hugo destroyed all of Guadeloupe's banana crops and left 35,000 people on the island homeless.

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Gary Williams/Liaison // Getty Images

1990: Gustav stays in the water

- Named storms: 14 (3.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

Hurricane Gustav, a Category 3 storm, was the only major hurricane of the 1990 season, but it didn't make landfall. Hurricane Diana, however, caused 95 deaths according to a report by an amateur radio operator.

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Boston Globe // Getty Images

1991: Storms form in Bermuda hotspot

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

All the major tropical storms during the 1991 season originated in a hot spot near Bermuda. Hurricane Bob, which hit New England, was one such storm. Bob caused $1.5 billion in damages in the region, mostly affecting homes, boats, and beaches.

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Joe Sohm/Visions of America // Getty Images

1992: Hurricane Andrew destroys weather instruments

- Named storms: 7 (3.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

The Category 5 Hurricane Andrew that hit southern Florida was one of the strongest and costliest hurricanes on record. Andrew's high winds flattened neighborhoods with speeds so high that they destroyed instruments at weather stations designed to track high wind speeds, though a privately owned instrument clocked the speeds at 177 mph. Hurricane Andrew was the second costliest hurricane when adjusted for inflation and cost $26.5 billion.

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LUKE FRAZZA // Getty Images

1993: Hurricane Emily evacuations save lives

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

Hurricane Emily was the only major hurricane of the 1993 season. Because Emily landed during Labor Day weekend, it cost the tourism industry about $10 million. One hundred sixty thousand people were evacuated from North Carolina, and only two people were killed, swimmers that drowned in the town of Nags Head.

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philippe giraud/Sygma via Getty Images

1994: A dry September and October

- Named storms: 7 (3.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 0 (2.48 less than average)

Although September and October are usually active months for hurricanes, there were none during these months in 1994. Conversely, two hurricanes developed in November for the first time since the 1940s. Tropical storm Alberto also produced record-breaking rainfall and floods in eastern Alabama and western Georgia, killing 30 people.

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DOUG COLLIER // Getty Images

1995: A busy, costly hurricane season

- Named storms: 19 (8.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 11 (5.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 5 (2.52 more than average)

An unusually active year, 1995 saw several hurricanes that caused major damage. Hurricane Opal caused $3 billion in damages in the southeastern U.S. and Florida Panhandle. Hurricane Luis cost the northeastern Leeward Islands in the Caribbean $2.5 billion and Hurricane Marilyn $1.5 billion, mostly to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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James P Reed // Getty Images

1996: Record-breaking hurricane numbers

- Named storms: 13 (2.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 9 (3.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 6 (3.52 more than average)

1995 and 1996 were both active seasons with a combined total of 20 hurricanes, the most for two consecutive seasons since accurate records began in the 1940s. Six hurricanes this year passed over the Caribbean, the most since 1916, though they were all short-lived.

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ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP via Getty Images

1997: El Nino causes inactive season

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 1 (1.48 less than average)

Hurricane Danny was the only hurricane to make landfall this season, killing five people. The reason there were fewer hurricanes than the average this year is partially due to the El Nino, which is warming in ocean temperatures across the east-central and central Equatorial Pacific.

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JOEL ROBINE // Getty Images

1998: Hurricane Mitch triggers extreme floods

- Named storms: 14 (3.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 10 (4.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

Tropical storms caused over 9,000 deaths during the 1998 hurricane season, mostly because of Hurricane Mitch, which hit Central America and caused flooding in Honduras and Nicaragua. Another 9,000 people went missing because of Hurricane Mitch.

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TOM MIHALEK // Getty Images

1999: Many Category 4 hurricanes

- Named storms: 12 (1.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 5 (2.52 more than average)

The 1999 season saw four Category 4 hurricanes, the most in one season since 1886. However, the deadliest storm of the year was not a hurricane but a tropical depression with heavy rains and flooding that caused 400 fatalities in Mexico.

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Robert King // Getty Images

2000: Hurricane Alberto lasts many days

- Named storms: 15 (4.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

Hurricane Alberto is the longest-lived hurricane on record to form in August in the Atlantic basin. It is the third longest-lived hurricane up until 2000, though it remained at sea for most of its existence.

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JAMES NIELSEN // Getty Images

2001: Costliest and deadliest tropical storm

- Named storms: 15 (4.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 9 (3.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 4 (1.52 more than average)

Tropical Storm Allison is the costliest and deadliest tropical storm in the U.S. in recorded history. It killed 41 people and caused $5 billion in damages in the U.S. Alice is only one of two tropical storms that have had their names retired.

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Joe Raedle // Getty Images

2002: El Nino causes few hurricanes

- Named storms: 12 (1.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Because of an El Nino, there were fewer hurricanes than average during the 2002 season. Hurricane Lili was the only one to hit the U.S. in the past three years, and it was the only one this year to make landfall while still classified as a hurricane.

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Joe Raedle // Getty Images

2003: Hurricane Isabel hits Chesapeake Bay

- Named storms: 16 (5.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

Hurricane Isabel was the worst hurricane to impact the Chesapeake Bay in 10 years. Isabel was also the costliest and deadliest hurricane of the season, leading to 17 deaths and $3 billion in damages, mostly due to flooding.

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STEPHEN JAFFE // Getty Images

2004: Hurricane Jeanne causes Haiti mudslides

- Named storms: 15 (4.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 9 (3.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 6 (3.52 more than average)

Four hurricanes affected Florida within a period of six weeks during the 2004 season, the last of which was Hurricane Jeanne. Jeanne is the twelfth deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, mostly because intense rainfalls caused mudslides in the mountains of Haiti, killing more than 3,000 people.

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Chris Graythen // Getty Images

2005: Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans

- Named storms: 28 (17.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 15 (9.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 7 (4.52 more than average)

Hurricane Katrina, one of the most infamous hurricanes, displaced more than a million people around the Gulf of Mexico. Katrina had the highest price tag of any hurricane to hit the U.S., causing $108 billion in damage and killing 1,833 people.

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James P Reed/Corbis via Getty Images

2006: The calm following the storm

- Named storms: 10 (0.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 5 (0.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

After two years of frequent tropical storms, 2006 was comparatively calm with only three tropical storms landing in the U.S. The strongest hurricane this year was Helene, a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour.

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OMAR TORRES // Getty Images

2007: Two Category 5 hurricane landfalls

- Named storms: 15 (4.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

2007 had the first hurricane season in which two Category 5 storms made landfall. Hurricane Dean was the first hurricane of the season, reaching Category 5 status over the Caribbean and making landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.

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Smiley N. Pool-Pool // Getty Images

2008: Hurricane Ike disrupts Montreal's subways

- Named storms: 16 (5.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 5 (2.52 more than average)

Hurricane Ike, the strongest of the 2008 season, mostly impacted Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas in the U.S., though its effects reached as far as Canada. Humidity caused by the storm sparked an electrical malfunction that required closing part of Montreal's subway system temporarily.

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ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images

2009: Write a 3-5 word description of any key event or notable facts

- Named storms: 9 (1.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 3 (2.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

The 2009 season had the lowest number of hurricanes in the Atlantic since 1997. It marked the thirteenth time that no hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. during a hurricane season.

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Spencer Platt // Getty Images

2010: Third most active hurricane season

- Named storms: 19 (8.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 12 (6.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 5 (2.52 more than average)

The 2010 hurricane season is the third most active in recorded history. It's also the only season to have over nine hurricanes without a single one making landfall in the U.S.

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Brendan Hoffman // Getty Images

2011: Major hurricane drought in the U.S.

- Named storms: 19 (8.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 4 (1.52 more than average)

No major hurricanes hit the U.S. this season, reaching a historic length of time without one. Nonetheless, total damage for the season was $11 billion, and there were 120 fatalities.

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Mario Tama // Getty Images

2012: Hurricane Sandy slams East Coast

- Named storms: 19 (8.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 10 (4.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Hurricane Sandy impacted all the states on the eastern seaboard and 24 states total. It is the fourth costliest storm in U.S. history, costing $70.2 billion. Sandy also led to snowfall amounting to as much as 3 feet in West Virginia and North Carolina.

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Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis via Getty Images

2013: A quiet hurricane season

- Named storms: 14 (3.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 2 (3.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 0 (2.48 less than average)

2013 had the quietest hurricane season of the past 20 years. Hurricane Andrea was the only storm to make landfall in the U.S., doing so in Florida. Andrea caused 11 tornadoes, including in Florida and one in North Carolina.

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Mark Wilson // Getty Images

2014: Arthur hits North Carolina early

- Named storms: 8 (2.81 less than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Since the start of accurate record-keeping in 1851, Hurricane Arthur is the earliest hurricane in the season to touch down in North Carolina. Arthur caused no fatalities and less than $25 million in damages.

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Ellis/Anadolu Agency // Getty Images

2015: Ana reveals wrecked schooner

- Named storms: 11 (0.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 4 (1.83 less than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

Making landfall in South Carolina on May 10, Tropical Storm Ana is the earliest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall. Along the beach, Ana revealed parts of a sunken schooner that was wrecked nearly 100 years prior.

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LINO BORGES/AFP via Getty Images

2016: A rare January hurricane

- Named storms: 15 (4.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 7 (1.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 4 (1.52 more than average)

The hurricane season started early in 2016 with Hurricane Alex forming in January. Alex was the first hurricane to form in this month since 1938. The storm hit the Azores, nine islands that are a part of Portugal, as a tropical storm.

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Win McNamee // Getty Images

2017: Three costly hurricanes

- Named storms: 17 (6.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 10 (4.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 6 (3.52 more than average)

Within one month spanning August to September, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria hit the U.S. All three storms joined the list of the five costliest hurricanes in the U.S. Other than Hurricane Katrina, Harvey is the only other hurricane to cause more than $100 billion in damages.

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Joe Raedle // Getty Images

2018: Hurricane Michael hits Florida Panhandle

- Named storms: 15 (4.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 8 (2.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 2 (0.48 less than average)

With sustained winds reaching 155 miles per hour, Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida on October 10, causing at least 45 fatalities. Michael is the most intense hurricane to touch down along the Florida Panhandle.

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Anadolu Agency // Getty Images

2019: Fourth year of frequent hurricanes

- Named storms: 18 (7.19 more than average)
- Hurricanes: 6 (0.17 more than average)
- Category 3 or higher hurricanes: 3 (0.52 more than average)

For the fourth year in a row, there were more hurricanes than average in the Atlantic during the 2019 season. This record can only be claimed by one other four-year period.


 

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