The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends Wednesday, having produced 19 tropical storms, of which seven became hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
The level of activity matched the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s predictions and continues the trend of active hurricane seasons that began in 1995, NOAA said in a statement.
The 19 tropical storms represent the third-highest total (tied with 1887, 1995, and 2010) since records began in 1851 and are well above the average of 11. However, the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes is only slightly above the average of six and two, respectively.
Irene was the lone hurricane to hit the United States this year, and the first one to do so since Ike struck southeast Texas in 2008. Irene also was the most significant tropical cyclone to strike the Northeast since Hurricane Bob in 1991.
“Irene broke the ‘hurricane amnesia’ that can develop when so much time lapses between landfalling storms,” said Jack Hayes, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.