Nearly 11 Years Since A Major Hurricane Hit the U.S. — Will This Last?

Weather Talk
Hurricane Wilma

Some weather records are bad, such as breaking the high temperature record three days in a row.  But some weather records are good, and NOT having a major hurricane strike the United States in nearly 11 years is a great record.

A major hurricane is defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a Category 3 Hurricane or stronger with sustained winds of at least 111 mph at the time the storm makes landfall.  Hurricane Wilma was the last major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S., when it came ashore on October 24, 2005 near Cape Romano in southwestern Florida as a Category 3 storm.  At its peak, Wilma was a Category 5 in the Caribbean Sea.

As for Texas, in June 2015, the only tropical storm to develop in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico – Tropical Storm Bill – made landfall near Matagorda Island, TX, on June 17. Bill achieved tropical storm status 200 miles east of the King Ranch, but the Rio Grande Valley had no direct impacts with landfall. Residual moisture from Bill causes flooding near Hebbronville to Falfurrias.  Torrential rains from Bill also caused millions in damage and two flood deaths in Oklahoma.

2016 is no longer in the El Nino pattern.  2015, which was a strong El Nino year, actually inhibited the development of strong storms in the Atlantic.  Without the “protection” of El Nino, will the so far quiet 2016 Hurricane Season continue to be “quiet?” 

Let’s hope so.

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