Local and national "hurricane drought" continues - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local and national "hurricane drought" continues

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) The length of time since a hurricane has hit the US coast continues to grow longer.

After a very active period of hurricane landfalls across in the 1990s and early 2000s, the period since has been unusually quiet.

According to data from the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service:

A major hurricane (category 3 or higher) hasn't hit the US Gulf or East Coast in nearly 11 years. The streak has reached 3,943 days, longer than any previous hurricane 'drought' by nearly two years.

Florida hasn't seen a hurricane of any intensity since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, although it averages about seven hurricane landfalls per decade. The current drought, nearing 11 years, is almost twice as long as the previous longest drought of six years (from 1979-1985).

The Gulf of Mexico, and its sprawling coast from Florida to Texas, has been hurricane-free for almost three full years, the longest period since record-keeping began 165 years ago. The last hurricane to traverse the Gulf waters was Ingrid, which made landfall in Mexico as a tropical storm, in September 2013.

The Carolinas are no exception to the hurricane drought as well. The last hurricane to impact the Grand Strand was 12 years ago when Hurricane Charley came ashore in Horry County as a weakening Category 1 hurricane in August of 2004. On average, a hurricane passes within 50 miles of the Horry County coast every 8 years.

The last major hurricane to impact the area was Hurricane Hugo in 1989 which made landfall near Charleston - 27 years ago. Records show that a major hurricane passes within 50 miles of the Horry County Coast every 23 years.

It's impossible to say when this hurricane drought comes to an end, but it will eventually happen. The best advice is to always be prepared for a possible hurricane impact well before a storm is moving in. Be familiar with any evacuation plans and routes and have an emergency kit ready at all times.

The peak of hurricane season is from now through the end of September.

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