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John L. Beven II and Eric S. Blake

Abstract

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season was marked by above-average tropical cyclone activity with the formation of 19 tropical storms. A total of 12 of the storms became hurricanes and 5 became major hurricanes (category 3 or higher on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale). In addition, there were two tropical depressions that did not reach storm strength. These totals were well above the long-term averages of 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. The areas most affected by the 2010 storms were eastern Mexico, Central America, and the island nations of the western Caribbean Sea, where multiple strikes occurred. In addition, two hurricanes struck eastern Canada. Despite the high level of activity, no hurricanes made landfall in the United States in 2010. The death toll from the 2010 Atlantic tropical cyclones was 189.

A verification of National Hurricane Center official forecasts during 2010 is also presented. The 2010 mean track errors were slightly larger than the previous 5-yr average at 12 and 24 h and much smaller at the other forecast times, even though the 2010 track forecasts were more difficult than normal. The 2010 mean intensity forecast errors were larger than the previous 5-yr average at 12–48 h, smaller at the longer forecast times, and had a high bias at all forecast times. As with the track forecasts, the 2010 intensity forecasts were more difficult than normal at all forecast times.

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Lixion A. Avila and Stacy R. Stewart

Abstract

The 2011 Atlantic season was marked by above-average tropical cyclone activity with the formation of 19 tropical storms. Seven of the storms became hurricanes and four became major hurricanes (category 3 or higher on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale). The numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes were above the long-term averages of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Despite the high level of activity, Irene was the only hurricane to hit land in 2011, striking both the Bahamas and the United States. Other storms, however, affected the United States, eastern Canada, Central America, eastern Mexico, and the northeastern Caribbean Sea islands. The death toll from the 2011 Atlantic tropical cyclones is 80. National Hurricane Center mean official track forecast errors in 2011 were smaller than the previous 5-yr means at all forecast times except 120 h. In addition, the official track forecast errors set records for accuracy at the 24-, 36-, 48-, and 72-h forecast times. The mean intensity forecast errors in 2011 ranged from about 6 kt (~3 m s−1) at 12 h to about 17 kt (~9 m s−1) at 72 and 120 h. These errors were below the 5-yr means at all forecast times.

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Eric S. Blake and Todd B. Kimberlain

Abstract

Overall activity during the 2011 eastern North Pacific hurricane season was near average. Of the 11 tropical storms that formed, 10 became hurricanes and 6 reached major hurricane strength (category 3 or stronger on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale). For comparison, the 1981–2010 averages are about 15 tropical storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. Interestingly, although the number of named storms was below average, the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were above average. The 2011 season had the most hurricanes since 2006 and the most major hurricanes since 1998. Two hurricanes affected the southwestern coast of Mexico (Beatriz as a category 1 hurricane and Jova as a category 2 hurricane), and the season’s tropical cyclones caused about 49 deaths. On average, the National Hurricane Center track forecasts in the eastern North Pacific for 2011 were very skillful.

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Stacy R. Stewart and John P. Cangialosi

Abstract

The 2010 eastern North Pacific hurricane season was one of the least active seasons on record. Only seven named storms developed, which is the lowest number observed at least since routine satellite coverage of that basin began in 1966. Furthermore, only three of those storms reached hurricane status, which is also the lowest number of hurricanes ever observed in the satellite-era season. However, two tropical storms made landfall: Agatha in Guatemala and Georgette in Mexico, with Agatha directly causing 190 deaths and moderate to severe property damage as a result of rain-induced floods and mud slides. On average, the National Hurricane Center track forecasts in the eastern North Pacific for 2010 were quite skillful.

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Todd B. Kimberlain and Michael J. Brennan

Abstract

The 2009 eastern North Pacific hurricane season had near normal activity, with a total of 17 named storms, of which seven became hurricanes and four became major hurricanes. One hurricane and one tropical storm made landfall in Mexico, directly causing four deaths in that country along with moderate to severe property damage. Another cyclone that remained offshore caused an additional direct death in Mexico. On average, the National Hurricane Center track forecasts in the eastern North Pacific for 2009 were quite skillful.

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Robert J. Berg and Lixion A. Avila

Abstract

The 2009 Atlantic season was marked by below-average tropical cyclone activity with the formation of nine tropical storms, the fewest since the 1997 Atlantic hurricane season. Of these, three became hurricanes and two strengthened into major hurricanes (category 3 or higher on the Saffir––Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). In addition, there were two tropical depressions that did not reach storm strength. The numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes were below the long-term averages of 11 named storms and 6 hurricanes, although the number of major hurricanes equaled the long-term average of 2. Many of the cyclones remained relatively weak. Only one tropical cyclone, Tropical Storm Claudette, made landfall in the United States, although Ida affected the northern Gulf Coast as a tropical storm before moving inland as an extratropical cyclone. Hurricane Bill and Tropical Storm Danny indirectly affected the East Coast by producing high surf, rip currents, and beach erosion; Bill also produced tropical storm conditions over Bermuda and parts of Atlantic Canada. Hurricane Ida made landfall in Nicaragua and also affected parts of Honduras, the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and western Cuba. Tropical Storm Erika had minor effects on the northern Leeward Islands, mainly in the form of light rain, and Tropical Storm Grace moved through the Azores with little impact. The death toll from the 2009 Atlantic tropical cyclones was six.

A verification of National Hurricane Center official forecasts during 2009 is also presented. Official track errors and forecast skill set records for accuracy at lead times between 24 and 72 h. Official intensity forecast errors were mostly larger than the previous 5-yr means, although intensity forecast skill was at or above historical highs since the intensity skill baseline [i.e., Decay-Statistical Hurricane Intensity Forecast model version 5 (Decay-SHIFOR5)] errors were well above average.

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Daniel P. Brown, John L. Beven, James L. Franklin, and Eric S. Blake

Abstract

The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season is summarized and the year’s tropical cyclones are described. Sixteen named storms formed in 2008. Of these, eight became hurricanes with five of them strengthening into major hurricanes (category 3 or higher on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale). There was also one tropical depression that did not attain tropical storm strength. These totals are above the long-term means of 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. The 2008 Atlantic basin tropical cyclones produced significant impacts from the Greater Antilles to the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as along portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Hurricanes Gustav, Ike, and Paloma hit Cuba, as did Tropical Storm Fay. Haiti was hit by Gustav and adversely affected by heavy rains from Fay, Ike, and Hanna. Paloma struck the Cayman Islands as a major hurricane, while Omar was a major hurricane when it passed near the northern Leeward Islands. Six consecutive cyclones hit the United States, including Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav, and Ike. The death toll from the Atlantic tropical cyclones is approximately 750.

A verification of National Hurricane Center official forecasts during 2008 is also presented. Official track forecasts set records for accuracy at all lead times from 12 to 120 h, and forecast skill was also at record levels for all lead times. Official intensity forecast errors in 2008 were below the previous 5-yr mean errors and set records at 72–120 h.

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Eric S. Blake and Richard J. Pasch

Abstract

The hurricane season of 2008 in the eastern North Pacific basin is summarized, and the individual tropical cyclones are described. Official track and intensity forecasts of these cyclones are also evaluated. The 2008 eastern North Pacific season was relatively quiet, with overall activity at about 75% of the long-term median. A total of 16 tropical storms formed, of which 7 became hurricanes and 2 became major hurricanes. One hurricane, one tropical storm, and two tropical depressions made landfall in Mexico, causing eight direct deaths in that country along with significant property damage. In addition, Tropical Storm Alma was the first tropical cyclone on record to make landfall along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. On average, the official track forecasts in the eastern Pacific for 2008 were quite skillful and set records for accuracy from 1 to 3 days. However, no appreciable improvement in mean intensity forecast skill was noted.

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Michael J. Brennan, Richard D. Knabb, Michelle Mainelli, and Todd B. Kimberlain

Abstract

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season had 15 named storms, including 14 tropical storms and 1 subtropical storm. Of these, six became hurricanes, including two major hurricanes, Dean and Felix, which reached category 5 intensity (on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale). In addition, there were two unnamed tropical depressions. While the number of hurricanes in the basin was near the long-term mean, 2007 became the first year on record with two category 5 landfalls, with Hurricanes Dean and Felix inflicting severe damage on Mexico and Nicaragua, respectively. Dean was the first category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin to make landfall in 15 yr, since Hurricane Andrew (1992). In total, eight systems made landfall in the basin during 2007, and the season’s tropical cyclones caused approximately 380 deaths. In the United States, one hurricane, one tropical storm, and three tropical depressions made landfall, resulting in 10 fatalities and about $50 million in damage.

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Lixion A. Avila and Jamie Rhome

Abstract

The hurricane season of 2007 in the eastern North Pacific Ocean basin is summarized, individual tropical cyclones are described, and a forecast verification is presented. The 2007 eastern North Pacific season was not an active one. There were 11 tropical storms, of which only 4 became hurricanes. Only one cyclone became a major hurricane. One hurricane struck Mexico and one tropical storm made landfall near the Guatemala–Mexico border. The 2007 National Hurricane Center forecast track errors were lower than the previous 5-yr means at all forecast lead times, and especially so for the 72-, 96-, and 120-h periods when the errors were 16%, 22%, and 20% lower, respectively. The official intensity forecasts had only limited skill.

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