2005 Atlantic hurricane season worst on record
November 29, 2005
2005 Atlantic hurricane season is the busiest on record and extends
the active hurricane cycle that began in 1995 — a trend likely
to continue for years to come. The season included 26 named storms,
including 13 hurricanes in which seven were major (Category 3 or higher).
hurricane season shattered records that have stood for decades —
most named storms, most hurricanes, and most category five storms.
Arguably, it was the most devastating hurricane season the country
has experienced in modern times,” said retired Navy Vice Adm.
Conrad C. Lautenbacher,
Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere
and NOAA administrator. “I’d like to foretell that next
year will be calmer, but I can’t. Historical trends say the
atmosphere patterns and water temperatures are likely to force another
active season upon us.”
Atlantic Basin is in the active phase of a multi-decadal cycle in
which optimal conditions in the ocean and atmosphere, including warmer-than-average
sea-surface temperatures and low wind shear, enhance hurricane activity.
This increase in the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes
can span multiple decades (approximately 20 to 30 years). NOAA will
make its official 2006 season forecast in May, prior to the June 1st
start to the season.
of this active cycle was demonstrated this year as the Atlantic Basin
produced the equivalent of more than two entire hurricane seasons
over the course of one. Because we are in an active hurricane era,
it’s important to recognize that with a greater number of hurricanes
comes increasing odds of one striking land,” said retired Air
Force Brig. Gen. David
L. Johnson, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.
set this season include the totals for:
storms: 26; previous record: 21 in 1933
Hurricanes: 13; previous record: 12 in 1969
hurricanes hitting the U.S.: Four (Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma);
previous record: Three, most recently in 2004
of Category 5 intensity (greater than 155 mph): Three (Katrina,
Rita and Wilma); previous record: Two in 1960 and 1961
scientists predicted this would be an extremely active hurricane season,
forecasting near-record activity in early August. The 26 named storms
topped the forecast range of 18 to 21, the 13 hurricanes inched above
the forecast of nine to 11 and the seven major hurricanes fell within
NOAA’s forecast range of five to seven. Five hurricanes (Dennis,
Katrina, Ophelia, Rita and Wilma) and three tropical storms (Arlene,
Cindy and Tammy) directly impacted the U.S.
Warm ocean waters fuel hurricanes, and there was plenty of warm water for Katrina to build up strength once she crossed over Florida and moved into the Gulf of Mexico. This image depicts a 3-day average of actual sea surface temperatures (SSTs) for the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, from August 25-27, 2005. Every area in yellow, orange or red represents 82 degrees Fahrenheit or above. A hurricane needs SSTs at 82 degrees or warmer to strengthen. The data came from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The GOES satellite provided the cloud data for this image.
The kind of devastation seen on the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina may be a small taste of what is to come if emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2 ) are not diminished soon, warns Dr. Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology in his opening remarks at the 7th International Carbon Dioxide Conference in Boulder, Colorado, September 26, 2005.
The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, even though the total number of hurricanes has dropped since the 1990s, according to a study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The shift occurred as global sea surface temperatures have increased over the same period. The research appears in the September 16 issue of Science
Late last month an atmospheric scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a study in Nature that found hurricanes have grown significantly more powerful and destructive over the past three decades. Kerry Emanuel, the author of the study, warns that since hurricanes depend on warm water to form and build, global climate change might increase the effect of hurricanes still further in coming years.
of the Greek alphabet were used to name storms for the first time
since storms began acquiring names in 1953, as Hurricane Wilma exhausted
the original list of 21 names. Tropical Storm Alpha and Hurricane
Beta hit the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, respectively. Tropical
Storm Gamma brought deadly flooding to parts of Central America. Tropical
Storm Delta largely stayed over open water then moved across the Canary
Islands off the northwest coast of Africa.
six months until the official start of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane
season, NOAA urges hurricane-prone residents to take proactive measures
during this time. “The battle against the hurricane season is
won during the off season. Winter and spring is the time to conduct
hurricane preparations, such as stocking supplies, assembling a safety
kit that includes a NOAA Weather Radio and preparing an evacuation
plan,” said Max Mayfield, director of NOAA’s National
this period of more numerous and more intense hurricanes, NOAA is
focused on our mission of serving society’s needs for weather
information and support the nation’s commerce,” said Lautenbacher.
“NOAA is there to provide accurate storm forecasts and also
stays engaged after the storm to ensure safe commercial fishing and
continued navigation of our nation’s impacted waterways.”
National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts
and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s
National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood
warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives
and property and enhance the national economy.
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economic security and national safety through the prediction and research
of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental
stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through
the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA
is working with our federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop
a global Earth observation network that is as integrated as the planet
it observes, predicts and protects.
This story is derived from a NOAA news release. The original can be found at NOAA REVIEWS RECORD-SETTING 2005 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON