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A Good Drought Is a Hurricane Drought

The United States is in the midst of a hurricane drought. Only four hurricanes hit the United States in the last seven years, following the most active period in 2002-2008 when 18 hurricanes hit the country...
July 20, 2016

The United States is in the midst of a hurricane drought. Only four hurricanes hit the United States in the last seven years, following the most active period in 2002-2008 when 18 hurricanes hit the country. The United States also is in an 11-year record streak with no strike from a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher). The Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory said the only other comparable hurricane drought to the current seven-year stretch was in the late 1970s through the early 1980s.

Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University said that for much of the past 10 years, an area of low atmospheric pressure known as a trough set up over the U.S. East Coast during the prime hurricane months of August to October, helping steer the storms away from the coast and out to sea.

The hurricane drought is a concern for officials and emergency managers, who worry about complacency. FEMA and the National Hurricane Center frequently remind people “it only takes one.” Hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said, “The farther we get from the last hurricane, the closer we get to the next one.”

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