RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Even though hurricane season doesn’t technically end until Nov. 30, the tropics are quiet, giving us the chance to start looking back.
To start, the forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Colorado State, and North Carolina State University, called for a near-average or slightly above-average hurricane season.
North Carolina ended up with a total of 17 tropical systems with 14 of those getting named. Meanwhile, two systems remained tropical depressions and one was a potential tropical cyclone.
Of those 14, eight became hurricanes, and two became major hurricanes, making North Carolina end up near-normal. Remember, an average hurricane season sees 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Many of the tropical systems that developed this year either remained out in the open ocean or impacted Central America. The three most notable storms this season were the three that impacted the United States and our territories: Hurricanes Fiona, Ian and Nicole.
Hurricane Fiona made landfall as a Category 1 on the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico, where devastating rain caused major flooding and mudslides.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Ian brought absolute devastation to southwest Florida when it made landfall as a Category 4. Significant storm surge swept away buildings and left barrier islands cutoff from the mainland.
Hurricane Ian also brought impacts across other parts of Florida as it moved northeast. It would emerge back into the Atlantic before making another landfall near Georgetown, South Carolina. It was this landfall that eventually took over central North Carolina, bringing us rain and wind.
Finally, Hurricane Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 on the east coast of Florida, bringing with it more storm surge and beach erosion, as well as heavy rain.
North Carolina was fortunate once again this year where it managed to avoid direct landfalls from tropical systems, but still felt our share of impacts.
Remember, no matter if the season is above or below average, it only takes one to bring devastation.