NOAA: Record 140 Straight Months Without Major Hurricane Strike

By Gage Cohen | June 26, 2017 | 9:47 AM EDT

 

(CNSNews.com) -- Saturday, June 24 marked the completion of a record 140 straight months since the last major hurricane made landfall in the continental United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The last major hurricane to hit the continental U.S. was Hurricane Wilma, which struck Florida on Oct. 24, 2005. According to NOAA, four major hurricanes hit the continental United States that year. They included Wilma, Rita, Katrina, and Dennis.

But since Wilma, no Category 3 or above hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States, making June 24, 2017 the end of a record 140 months without a major hurricane strike.

Prior to this 140-month stretch without a major hurricane strike, the longest major hurricane drought was the 96 months between September 1860 and August 1869.

NOAA has published data on all hurricanes striking the United States since the year 1851.

A "major hurricane" is defined as one that is Category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which means it has sustained wind speeds of more than 111 miles per hour and is capable of causing damage that is “devastating” or “catastrophic.”

NOAA is currently predicting that an "above normal Atlantic hurricane season is likely for this year.”

"For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season," NOAA says on its website.  

"Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher)," says NOAA, "of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)."

"An average season," said NOAA, "produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes."