BLOG: Hurricane season wrap-up - | WBTV Charlotte

BLOG: Hurricane season wrap-up

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Monday November 30th was the last day of the 2015 Hurricane season, and as you may have been able to guess, the Atlantic season ended up being well below normal (as predicted) with only 11 named storms, 4 hurricanes (Danny, Fred, Joaquin, Kate), and 2 major hurricanes (Danny, Joaquin). 

None of the hurricanes made a U.S. landfall, but Tropical Storm Ana did cause minor damage in North Carolina.

The main factor that contributed to the below-average season in the Atlantic this year was the strengthening El Niño, which became very strong over the summer. The El Niño conditions led to stronger wind shear and drier air in the tropical Atlantic, both of which are hindrances to tropical systems.

Although these hindering conditions were present in the Atlantic, the El Niño actually contributed to an above average Hurricane season in the Pacific, due to weaker wind shear and warmer water.

The eastern Pacific saw 18 named storms, 13 hurricanes, and 9 major hurricanes. This is the first year since reliable record keeping began in 1971 that the eastern Pacific saw 9 major hurricanes. Hurricane Patricia was the strongest hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere in terms of maximum wind speed at 200 miles per hour and lowest air pressure at 879 millibars.

The central Pacific shattered its records too, with 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes, which is also the most active season since reliable record-keeping began in 1971.

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