Is a hurricane shield protecting the U.S. coast?
Ten hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic basin this season, but none have made landfall in the U.S. As it turns out, this is pretty unusual.
U.S. Dr. Adam Lea, a researcher at the University College London Department of Space and Climate Physics, posted some fascinating statistics relating to this fact on a hurricane research list-serv. Here they are, reprinted with his permission:
1. Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with 10 or more hurricanes where none has struck the U.S. as a hurricane. The five previous seasons with 10 or more hurricanes each had at least two hurricane strikes on the U.S.
2. The last precedent for a La Nina year of the magnitude of 2010 which had no U.S.-landfalling hurricane is 1973.
3. Since hurricane Ike (2008) there have been 16 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes. Such a sequence last happened between Irene (1999) and Lili (2002) with 22 consecutive non U.S.-landfalling hurricanes, and between Allen (1980) and Alicia (1983) with 17 consecutive non U.S.-landfalling hurricanes.
4. The period 2006-2010 is one of only three 5-year consecutive periods without a U.S. major hurricane landfall (the other two such periods were 1901-1905 and 1936-1940). There has never been a six year period without a US major hurricane landfall.
5. Historically one in four Atlantic hurricanes strike the US as a hurricane. Thus the recent dearth in strikes should be 'corrected' in the next few years.
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