Hurricane Season 2015 Comes to a Mostly Quiet Close
Hurricane season officially ended on Monday, November 30 with a relatively slow Atlantic hurricane season in the books. Meanwhile the eastern Pacific saw a historically strong year, with both seasons significantly impacted by a strong El Niño.
The Atlantic season finished with 11 named storms, four hurricanes and two major hurricanes, which are almost exactly average levels for the Atlantic. But a closer look reveals that the Atlantic season was far below average. ACE, a measure of the total combined energy produced by hurricanes and tropical storms, was only 60 percent of average in the Atlantic basin, according to hurricane researcher Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University.
Most importantly, however, the United States avoided a major hurricane strike for a record-breaking tenth straight year. The last major hurricane to strike the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
A strong El Niño contributed to unusually warm central Pacific Ocean temperatures leading to a meteorological domino effect on worldwide weather. It raised sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, and contributed to another unusually strong year across the Pacific Ocean for tropical cyclones.
Eleven major hurricanes developed in the central and eastern Pacific, more than any other season on record, including October’s Hurricane Patricia which became the strongest tropical cyclone ever seen in the Western Hemisphere.
Keep in mind that while the hurricane season is over by definition, tropical systems can and have developed afterwards, although only five Atlantic tropical systems have developed during the month of December since 1950.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi
(Headline image: NASA)