Delaware Public Media

Active & destructive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season comes to a close

Nov 29, 2017

An active and destructive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season ends Thursday.

The National Weather Service says there were 17 named storms during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, tying it with 1936 as the fifth most-active season since records began in 1851.

National Weather Service meteorologist Lance Franck says a lot of the storms impacted the southeast U.S., while several others remained further out in the Atlantic.


“So this is an example of a season where you can have an active season with landfalling hurricanes and little impact to our region," said Franck. "Whereas the converse can happen as well, where you have a season that’s relatively quiet and you have one landfalling hurricane and it just happens to move across your area.”

Franck says the four major storms this year were Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. None of them significantly impacted the First State or Delmarva region.


Franck says in tracking storms like Irma, Jose and Maria in particular, any one of them COULD have taken a different path and headed farther north and east, impacting Delmarva.


“Anytime you have a storm that’s especially in the vicinity of the Bahamas, not so much Harvey because that was well into the Gulf of Mexico, but yea a storm like Irma (that hit Florida in Sept.) that went between Cuba and the Bahamas, that has a greater potential for impacting the East Coast,” said Franck.

Franck adds the track of the storm is dependent on the weather pattern. He says it takes a unique weather pattern to bring a storm up the East Coast and fortunately that typically rare occurrence did NOT happen THIS year.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was one of only six years on record to feature multiple Category 5 hurricanes.

And the U.S Atlantic hurricane season was the costliest season on record, with a preliminary total of over $ 202.6 billion dollars in damages according to disaster modelers with Enki Research.

Franck notes just because hurricane season is over, you should NOT become complacent. This is the start of the nor-’easter season, which he says can cause just as many problems as hurricane season for our area.