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2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season


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  • Location: Western Isles
  • Location: Western Isles
    The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season was an event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. The season officially started on June 1 and ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. However, the formation of Tropical Storm Arthur caused the season to start two days early.

    Although not an El Niño or La Niña year, 2008 is the third most costly season on record, behind only the 2004 and 2005 seasons, with up to $45 billion in damage (2008 USD). The season began far more actively than normal. The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season was the fourth busiest year since 1944 and the only year on record in which a major hurricane existed in every month from July through November in the North Atlantic.[1]

    Four storms formed before the start of August alone, and the season also had the earliest known date for three storms to be active on the same day: Hurricane Bertha, and Tropical Storms Cristobal and Dolly were all active on July 20. 2008 was also one of only nine Atlantic seasons on record to have a major hurricane form before August. This is also the first year four or more Category 4 storms have formed in a single year since 2005, which had 5, and was one of only 7 Atlantic seasons to feature a major hurricane in November.

    It has also been particularly devastating for Haiti, where over 800 people were killed by four consecutive tropical cyclones (Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike) in August and September. Hurricane Ike was the most destructive storm of the season, as well as the strongest, devastating Cuba as a major hurricane and later making landfall near Galveston, Texas at Category 2 (nearly Category 3) intensity. It caused a particularly devastating storm surge along the western Gulf Coast of the United States due to in part to its large size. Hurricane Hanna was the deadliest storm of the season, killing 537 people, mostly in Haiti. Hurricane Gustav was another very destructive storm, causing up to $8.3 billion in damage to Haiti, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and the U.S. Hurricane Dolly caused up to $1.5 billion in damage to south Texas and northeastern Mexico. Hurricane Bertha was an early season Cape Verde-type hurricane that became the longest lived pre-August Atlantic tropical cyclone on record, though it caused few deaths and only minor damage.

    Other notable storms in the year included Tropical Storm Arthur, which marked the first recorded time the Atlantic saw a named storm form in May in consecutive years, Tropical Storm Fay, which became the first Atlantic tropical cyclone to make landfall in the same U.S. state on 4 separate occasions; Tropical Storm Marco, believed to be the smallest Atlantic tropical cyclone ever recorded, Hurricane Omar, a powerful late-season major hurricane which caused moderate damage to the ABC islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands in mid-October; and Hurricane Paloma, which became the second strongest November hurricane in recorded history and caused about $2 billion in damage to the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

    taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Atlantic_hurricane_season

    named storms

    Arthur

    Bertha

    Cristobal

    Dolly

    Edouard

    Fay

    Gustav

    Hanna

    Ike

    Josephine

    Kyle

    Laura

    Marco

    Nana

    mar

    Paloma

    what are you're thoughts on the season just gone?

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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    Certainly a more active season than the past two years and has broken a few records. Mind you, records seem to be broken often now, even in seasons not record braking in storm numbers eg. 2007, two cat 5 landfalls. The season seemed to come in fits and starts, July was very active indeed with two hurricanes and a tropical storm (just one storm being more typical), and then again in September where we had a very active period and the most deadliest period- with the Caribbean taking a bashing. This image always sticks out in my mind:

    340px-4ATLHurricanes2008.jpg

    (Taken from Wikipedia)

    This is that very active September period. It's quite something to have four simultaneously active storms and it is a fairly rare occurence. This was the most exciting period to watch but also the most tragic, the loss of life and property out there really brings a touch of sadness to monitoring these beautiful phenomena.

    2008 certainly had some interesting individual storms. Bertha being the most long lived July tropical cyclone on record in the Atlantic whilst being an early major hurricane, we have Hanna's strange loop which unfortunately caused havoc for the Dominican republic:

    track.gif

    then we had Fay's record braking four landfalls in Florida and the unusual strengthening which occured over land:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Fay_(2008)

    and Marco being the smallest tropical cyclone on record in the Atlantic basin (and possibly worldwide):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Marco_(2008)

    and not forgetting rapidly developing Major Hurricane Paloma which deepened very rapidly to cat 4 for so late in the season:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Paloma_(2008) .

    Then there was the rather interesting record of the first season to have 5 months featuring major hurricanes (July, August, September, October and November). I'm not sure what to make of it really, does it really mean anything? Is it just luck that one major hurricane formed each month July-Nov in one season when it's not exactly unprecedented for major hurricanes to form in these months usually? Or does it indicate a change in our hurricane season, and perhaps a lengthening of the peak of the season, or the length of the season as a whole? Interesting comments on this thread here:

    http://www.netweather.tv/forum/index.php?showtopic=50431

    Overall, an interesting season, with some notable events. Certainly an improvement on the dull 2006 season.

    Thinking more widely, despite the Atlantic being above average activity wise, 2008 worldwide came in below average for tropical cyclone activity. The two basins that were particularly less active than usual was the West Pacific and the East Pacific (which was extremely quiet in 2007, interesting to note). Jeff Masters article makes for an interesting read here:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMaste...l?entrynum=1176

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