MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Today marks the end of the very active 2019 hurricane season.
The 2019 hurricane season produced 18 named storms. Of those named storms, six became hurricanes and three were “major” (Category 3, 4 or 5) hurricanes. NOAA’s hurricane season outlook called for 10-17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes.
According to the NOAA, 2019 “marks the fourth consecutive above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. The only other period on record that produced four consecutive above-normal seasons was 1998-2001. Also this year, five tropical storms and hurricanes formed in the Gulf of Mexico, which ties a record with 2003 and 1957 for the most storms to form in that region. Of those, three — Barry, Imelda and Nestor — made landfall in the U.S.”
The three major hurricanes this season were Dorian, Humberto and Lorenzo.
Dorian set records for its strength and is tied with three other hurricanes — the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, 1988’s Hurricane Gilbert and 2005’s Hurricane Wilma — as the second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic in terms of wind. At it’s peak near the Bahamas, Dorian produced sustained winds of 185 mph.
In all, four storms made landfall in the U.S. during the 2019 season: Barry, Dorian, Imelda and Nestor.
After devastating the Bahamas, Dorian passed just 50 miles off shore of the Grand Strand in early September. Wind gusts of 45 to 65 mph were widespread along with 8-15 inches of rain that led to flash flooding. Dorian also produced several tornadoes from northeast South Carolina into eastern North Carolina.
In a press release, NOAA stated that “during the 2019 season, NOAA’s hurricane hunter aircraft and crews flew 57 missions over 430 hours, which along with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of the Air Force Reserve, provided critical data that aided in storm forecasting and research. In addition, NOAA’s King Air crew collected more than 26,939 aerial images covering more than 4,300 square miles of areas affected by Hurricane Dorian, including shoreline, ports and impacted inland areas of several Bahamian Islands to aid in emergency response."