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Recap of the Hurricane Season

November 30, 2018

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and will end on Nov. 30. Since the beginning of the season, 15 recorded hurricanes and tropical storms have taken place. This year’s hurricane season appeared mild in comparison to last year’s notable storms, Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma.

According to Mashable, the water of the Atlantic Ocean remained relatively cool this year, which directly impacted the intensity and formation of hurricanes and tropical storms. Ocean temperatures have not dipped this low since 1982; The 2018 temperatures were colder than the 2017 temperatures by an average of 1.7 degrees Celsius. This could explain the decrease in major storms this hurricane season; however the Atlantic waters can be unpredictable, and there may be a storm to wrap up the season.

According to the National Hurricane Center, only eight of the fifteen major storms this year were recognized as true hurricanes. The National Weather Service classifies a true hurricane as a storm cyclone with sustained winds of 74 miles per hour. This includes Hurricane Beryl, Hurricane Chris, Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Helene, Hurricane Isaac, Hurricane Leslie, Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Oscar. However, only Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Leslie, and Hurricane Michael made major impacts once they reached land.

Hurricane Florence caused severe damage in both North and South Carolina in September 2018. The hurricane had a large storm surge and destroyed many important dams in the Carolinas. Florence wreaked havoc on the lives of many Americans and damage costs will be between $16 and $20 billion. However, the economic fallout was not that large considering the size and damage of this hurricane.

Hurricane Leslie made headlines this October as it headed towards Africa and Europe. Portugal, Spain and Morocco all had storm-watches, foreshadowing the more recent hurricanes threatening the coasts of European countries.  Hurricane Leslie struck Portugal, Spain and France and caused 16 deaths. This hurricane cost around $411.2 million in damages and caused hundreds of thousands of power outages and heavy waves along the coast.

Hurricane Michael struck the Florida panhandle this October and resulted in 35 deaths in four different states. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia were all affected by this Category four hurricane. It shut down countless businesses and roads, and destroyed many homes and cars. The estimated damage costs is estimated to be between 3 and 4.5 billion dollars, with much of northern Florida’s wildlife and forest destroyed and littered with debris.

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