Today is the last day of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season which was the first one considered “above-normal” for the first time since 2012. This year, there were 15 named storms, including 7 hurricanes – 3 of which were major.
NOAA’s lead hurricane forecaster, Gerry Bell, says there were several factors which lead to the active season.
"Warmer Atlantic Ocean temperatures, weaker trade winds, stronger high pressure in the upper atmosphere, weaker wind shear," said Bell.
Five named storms made landfall in the US during 2016, the most since 2008 when 6 storms hit. Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.
Bell says the reason the Gulf was spared for the most part this year is because the storms formed over the tropical Atlantic which tend not to track this way.
"And also we only had one significant storm in the Caribbean Sea," said Bell. "That means a low potential for storms moving from there into the Gulf."
Bell says that he can't stress enough to the millions and millions of coastal residents the importance of being prepared every year for hurricane season.
"Because we saw like this year, when conditions get conducive, you can quickly get a lot of storms threatening a lot of people," said Bell.