2009 Hurricane Season Ends

The 2009 Hurricane season is officially over. The season runs from June through November and tropical weather systems are rare outside of these months.

The 2009 season was notable for its’ late start and low number of storms.

  • 3 Hurricanes
  • 6 Tropical Storms
  • 2 Tropical Depressions

The season’s storm count fell far below the Tropical Prediction Center’s initial outlook but the Center’s mid season adjustment due to the developing El Nino was pretty much on target.

The season’s first storm was Ana and did not take form until August 11. The last storm of the season was unusually late and started up off the Central American coast, eventually making its’ final landfall on the Alabama/Florida Gulf coast.

The graphic below is the season’s preliminary track map, drawn up by the National Weather Service Tropical Prediction Center.

The text of the Tropical Prediction Center’s press release on the end of the seasons is below.

John Collins

Slow Atlantic Hurricane Season Comes to a Close

November 30, 2009

The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends today marking the close of a season with the fewest named storms and hurricanes since 1997 thanks, in part, to El Niño.

Nine named storms formed this year, including three hurricanes, two of which were major hurricanes at Category 3 strength or higher. These numbers fall within the ranges predicted in NOAA’s mid-season outlook issued in August, which called for seven to 11 named storms, three to six hurricanes, and one to two major hurricanes. An average season has 11 named storms and six hurricanes, including two major hurricanes.

“The reduced activity was expected and reflects the development of El Niño during the summer,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “El Niño produced strong wind shear across the Caribbean Sea and western tropical Atlantic, which resulted in fewer and shorter-lived storms compared to some recent very active seasons.”

Two systems, Claudette and Ida, brought tropical storm force winds to the U.S. mainland. For the first time in three years, no hurricanes hit the U.S. There were 38 hurricane hunter aircraft reconnaissance missions flown by NOAA and the U.S. Air Force over the Atlantic Basin this year compared to 169 in 2008 – another indication of a less active season.

“El Niño is expected to reach peak strength this winter, and will likely continue into the spring. It is far too early to say whether El Niño will be present next summer,” added Bell. NOAA will issue its initial 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook in May, prior to the official start of the season on June 1.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment—from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun—and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.


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