Stretch of consecutive above-normal seasons continues

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which ended on Saturday, was marked by tropical activity that churned busily from mid-August through October.

The season produced 18 named storms, including six hurricanes of which three were “major” (Category 3, 4 or 5). NOAA’s outlook called for 10-17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes, and accurately predicted the overall activity of the season.

This year marks the fourth consecutive above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. The only other period on record that produced four consecutive above-normal seasons was 1998-2001. Also this year, five tropical cyclones formed in the Gulf of Mexico, which ties a record with 2003 and 1957 for the most storms to form in that region. Of those, three — Barry, Imelda and Nestor — made landfall in the U.S. 

Tropical Storm Imelda dumped prolific amounts of rain across parts of southeastern Texas in September 2019, leading to catastrophic flooding and prompting evacuations.

More than two feet of rain drenched southeast Texas, including a few spots that saw more than 40 inches. The heaviest rain fell in a short amount time Sept. 18-19, 2019.

Five deaths were linked to floods from Tropical Storm Imelda, the worst storm in Texas since Hurricane Harvey and one of the wettest tropical cyclones in the nation’s history, according to the National Weather Service.

Imelda dumped as much as 43 inches of rain in some parts of southeast Texas, according to the National Weather Service. In comparison, Harvey dropped about 60 inches of rain.

The three major hurricanes this season were Dorian, Humberto and Lorenzo. Hurricane Dorian is tied with three other hurricanes — the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, 1988’s Hurricane Gilbert and 2005’s Hurricane Wilma — as the second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin in terms of wind (185 mph). In all, four storms made landfall in the U.S. during the 2019 season: Barry, Dorian, Imelda and Nestor.

An average season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. 

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