how bad was the 2005 hurricane season?

Flickr image originally uploaded by dgales.

Bad. Really bad. Well, quite frankly it was the worst. Here’s a list of records broken or tied from

  • Most named storms in a season (26)
  • Most hurricanes in a season (14)
  • Use of Greek Alphabet to name storms because original 21 alphabetical names exhausted
  • Most Category 5 hurricanes (3)
  • Most intense hurricane in the Atlantic (882 millibars)
  • Most major hurricanes (Cat 3 or higher) to hit the US in a season (4)
  • Most extensive damage (over $100 Billion)
  • Third most deadly season (over 3,000 killed)
  • Most storms in the month of July (5)
  • Most unusual storm: Hurricane Vince formed the furthest north-east ever and hit Spain
  • Not to mention the name “Katrina” means so much more now.

So how does this year compare to how next year might be?

“Arguably, it was the most devastating hurricane season the country has experienced in modern times,” Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said from Washington. “I’d like to foretell that next year will be calmer, but I can’t. Historical trends say the atmosphere patterns and water temperatures are likely to force another active season upon us.”


Scientists attribute the upswing in hurricane numbers and intensity to warmer ocean temperatures, lower wind shear in the atmosphere, and favorable winds coming off the coast of Africa — all naturally occurring conditions that come in long cycles that usually endure for 20, 30 or more years.

In other words, when those conditions strengthen, as they do every couple of decades, the Atlantic basin produces more and stronger hurricanes. When they ebb, the basin produces fewer and weaker hurricanes. And, scientists say, we’ve been in one of those active cycles since 1995.

Guess we don’t have next year to look forward to, but we do look forward to sometime between 2015 and 2025.

Sigh. I gotta get off this sandbar.

A good place to reminisce the data and maps from the 2005 Hurricane Season is here at’s 2005 storm list. Or you can check out what Wikipedia has to say — which is pretty good info too!

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