Assessing the Atlantic Hurricane Season Climate Factors

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Higher than normal SST's and low vertical wind shear are 2 conditions that are associated with higher than normal hurricane activity. This page contains links to current, forecast and historic values of SST and wind shear as well as other current and historic information that relates to hurricane formation and climate.

Some 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Statistics:

Updated: September 16
  • With Hurricane Julia reaching category 4-strength on September 15, this season now has a count of four (4) Category 4 storms - this has happened only six times between 1948-2009 (a 1 in 10 years occurrence)
  • Similarly, the fact that 'Karl' attained hurricane strength on September 16 makes for three hurricanes occurring at the same time (Igor, Julia, and Karl) - this has also only happened six times between 1948-2009 (another 10% chance to occur)
  • The average Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for the period 1948-2009 is 101. As of September 16, 1800 UTC the unofficial ACE for 2010 is 102, exceeding the average seasonal total. By comparison, the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season had a record breaking ACE of 248.
  • More statistics....

Spotlight - Nicole

The East Coast of the United States saw record rainfall during the last few days of September and the first of October. Tropical Storm Nicole was a named storm for less than one day, but brought copious amounts of tropical moisture to the eastern seaboard to produce the heavy rains. Squeezed between an upper level trough and the Atlantic subtropical high, the remnants of Nicole moved over the Carolinas, the mid-Atlantic states and into New England. The Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states had just received heavy precipitation from a cold front prior to the arrival of Nicole, adding to the 3-day storm totals. Click here for animation loop

Image source:
Record rainfall amounts were tallied during September 26-30 in the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states. Wilmington, North Carolina received 23.36 inches of rainfall during this period. Rainfall amounts greater than 5 inches were recorded from the Carolinas to Maine. Flooding was widespread and a few tornadoes were reported in North Carolina and Maryland. Click on the image for an animation of the precip totals.