MIAMI ( Associated Press) – An Atlantic hurricane season that included 14 named storms officially ended Wednesday, prompting celebration for some Florida Keys residents, while others in the state and Puerto Rico braced for damage from Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Will continue to deal with the loss. Fiona.
The first half of the 2022 period was unusually quiet, but things took a drastic turn with three devastating storms in the second half, ending with an average number of named storms. The season runs from 1 June to 30 November.
The year saw eight hurricanes with winds reaching at least 74 mph (119 km/h), two of which reached winds of at least 111 mph (179 km/h), according to the US National Oceanic and became Category 3 or higher hurricanes. Office of the Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Forecasters say an average hurricane season consists of 14 named storms and seven hurricanes, three of which are Category 3 or higher.
During the season, it was notable how little activity occurred in August, which set a record. This year marked the first time since 1941 that there were no named storms in the Atlantic Ocean from July 3 to late August, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. Since 1950, only in 1997 and 1961 were no named storms recorded during August.
Several hundred residents of the Florida Keys gathered Wednesday to celebrate the end of the season by lighting hurricane warning flags. The event included a call with a seashell – symbolizing the key – and speakers remembered those affected by the 2022 hurricane and expressed gratitude that the region did not have a major impact. Afterwards, members of the Conch Republic’s Key West Ceremonial Administration Group doused the storm warning flags with rum and set them on fire. The event was held aft of the Coast Guard Ship Ingham, a maritime museum located in Key West.
Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida in late September as a Category 4 hurricane, killing nearly 150 people and leaving a trail of destruction as it moved northeast across the state. After returning to the Atlantic, the hurricane turned north and impacted South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane. With maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (241 km/h), Hurricane Ian peaked at fifth as a Category 1 hurricane. United States in history, officials said.
Hurricane Nicole’s vortex struck the central Florida coast in early November as a Category 1 hurricane, but most damage occurred more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the north around Daytona Beach, where beach erosion began. Things got worse with Hurricane Ian, resulting in some housing collapsing and being washed out to sea.
Fiona was the first Category 3 or larger hurricane of the season, eventually reaching Category 4 with winds of 130 mph (215 km/h). The eye of the storm missed the continental United States, but it struck Puerto Rico in mid-September as a Category 1 hurricane, knocking out power across the island and killing at least 25 people.