While we bundle up to combat the first long-term cold snap, I thought it would be a good time to look at a warm weather phenomenon - tropical weather. The six-month long 2011 hurricane season officially ends November 30, this Wednesday. However, today the National Hurricane Center put out a press release that caught my attention. They declared that after re-examining some of the data, the 2011 season had 19 tropical storms, and 7 hurricanes, 2 of which were major (category 3 or higher). Nate was upgraded to a hurricane and a sub-tropical storm near Bermuda were added to the intital tally. For the first time since Ike, a hurricane hit the U.S. - Irene back in August.
Surprisingly, 19 storms is the same number as last year and again above normal:
The La Niña weather pattern is responsible in part for this year's active season, just like in 2010. Long range projections show that this pattern will again be present in 2012, so we could see another active season. Of course, when it comes to these number, perception is everything. If no storm hits you, you may think its been a tame season. Folks along the East Coast are still cleaning up from Irene's furious inland flooding. Our closest brush with any helpful tropical rains was back in July with Don and then again in late August with Lee. Both storms were steered away from impacting us by the high pressure ridge that sent temperatures soaring for our hottest summer ever.