Hurricane Round-up 2010
November 30th marked the official end of the 2010 hurricane season — a season with a total of 19 named storms, 12 of which were hurricanes. In this slideshow, we take a look at this year's hurricanes, from Alex to Tomas, giving you a round up of where they hit.
The 2010 hurricane season was extremely active, and featured several unique storms. However, it was perhaps most notable for the lack of a landfalling hurricane in the United States. By comparison, the most active year on record in 2005 featured five hurricane landfalls in the U.S., four of which came ashore as major hurricanes — including the devastating Hurricane Katrina. As meteorologist Jeff Masters of Weather Underground stated: "Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with ten or more hurricanes where none has struck the U.S. as a hurricane."
Why was the U.S. so fortunate? Atmospheric steering patterns caused storms to veer away from the U.S., and either into the open Atlantic, or southwest into Mexico.
The total of 19 named storms this year tied 1887 and 1995 for third-highest on record, while the number of hurricanes this season tied with 1969 for second-highest on record. Five of the hurricanes this season reached major hurricane status of Category Three or greater.
The hurricane season was so active in part because of record warm sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, as well as a La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean, which can contribute to favorable atmospheric conditions for storms to form. The record warm sea surface temperatures have been linked to global climate change, as well as natural climate variability. The record warm waters helped storms form in spots where they are not normally observed. Hurricane Julia, for example, was the easternmost major hurricane on record, according to Masters.