2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recap

The 2009 Hurricane Season featured only nine named storms, three hurricanes and two major hurricanes. This was 61%, 38%, and 51%, respectively, of the 1995 - 2008 average storm activity. Wind shear was much higher than average, and middle levels of the atmosphere were dryer than the average relative humidity. This year's moderate El Niño undoubtedly was primarily responsible for these anomalies and for this year's low levels of Atlantic hurricane activity observed. In addition, a stronger and more southerly than usual mid-Atlantic trough was active during much of hurricane season, contributing to high wind shear over the Atlantic.

Strength and Track of 2009 Atlantic Basin Storms

Select Storm To View Track

Name

Max.

Name

Max.

Name

Max.

Ana

Ana's Maximum Strength was Tropical Storm

Henri

Henri's maximum Strength was Tropical Storm

Odette

Odette

Bill

Bill's maximum strength is Catagory 4

Ida

Ida maximun strength was Category Two Hurricane

Peter

Peter

Claudette

Claudette maximum strength was Tropical Storm

Joaquin

Joaquin

Rose

Rose

Danny

Danny's Maximum Strenght was Tropical Storm

Kate

Kate

Sam

Sam

Erika

Erika's Maximum Strength was Tropical Storm

Larry

Larry

Teddy

Teddy

Fred

Fred's maximum strength was Category 3.

Mindy

Mindy

Victor

Victor

Grace

Grace's maximum Strength was Tropical Storm

Nicholas

Nicholas

Wanda

Wanda


Tropical Storm Ana

Tropical Storm Ana was a weak tropical storm that remained over the tropical Atlantic Ocean and dissipated before reaching the Lesser Antilles.

Tropical Cyclone Report Tropical Storm Ana (AL022009)
11-16 August 2009


Hurricane Bill

Hurricane Bill was a category 4 Cape Verde hurricane that traversed the Atlantic Ocean around the periphery of the Azores-Bermuda High. It brushed Bermuda and Nova Scotia as a hurricane, and crossed the southern tip of Newfoundland as a tropical storm.

Tropical Cyclone Report Hurricane Bill (AL032009)
15-24 August 2009


Tropical Storm Claudette

Tropical Storm Claudette was a short-lived storm which made landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a 40-kt tropical storm, causing minimal damage.

Tropical Cyclone Report Tropical Storm Claudette (AL042009)
16-17 August 2009


Tropical Storm Danny

Tropical Storm Danny was also a short-lived and tropical cyclone off the southeastern coast of the United States.

Tropical Cyclone Report Hurricane Danny (AL052009)
26-29 August 2009


Tropical Storm Erika

Tropical Storm Erika was a weak tropical storm that moved through the Lesser Antilles before dissipating over the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Tropical Cyclone Report Tropical Storm Erika (AL062009)
1-3 September 2009


Tropical Storm Fred

Hurricane Fred became the strongest hurricane on record south of 30°N and east of 35°W in the Atlantic basin. It then weakened and degenerated into a remnant low that moved west-northwestward for almost a week before dissipating.

Tropical Cyclone Report Hurricane Fred (AL072009)
7-12 September 2009


Tropical Storm Grace

Tropical Storm Grace was a rare northeastern Atlantic Ocean tropical storm that formed near the Azores and moved northeastward toward the British Isles.

Tropical Cyclone Report Hurricane Grace (AL092009)
4-6 October 2009


Tropical Storm Henri

Tropical Storm Henri was a short-lived tropical storm over the tropical Atlantic Ocean that dissipated due to strong vertical shear.

Tropical Cyclone Report Tropical Storm Henri (AL102009)
6-8 October 2009


Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida was a late season hurricane that had a large impact on the east coast of Nicaragua and the adjacent islands. It was the first November hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since Kate of 1985.

Tropical Cyclone Report Hurricane Ida (AL112009)
4-10 November 2009


Some other notable feature of the 2009 season:

  • A late-starting season. Ana did not form until August 15. This was the latest "A" storm of the season since Andrew formed in 1992 on August 17. However, the 2009 season exploded into a flurry of action August 15 - 16, when the Atlantic featured a re triple threat of simultaneous named storms beginning with the letters A, B, and C--Ana, Bill, and Claudette. The last time this occurred was in the slow-starting 1984 hurricane season, when Tropical Storms Arthur, Bertha, and Cesar were all active on September 1.
  • Nine named storms occurred during 2009. This is the fewest since 1997, when eight named storms formed.
  • 27.25 named storm days occurred in 2009. This is the fewest named storm days since 1991, when only 24.25 named storm days were recorded.
  • Three hurricanes occurred in 2009. This is the fewest since 1997 when there were also three hurricanes.
  • Five named storms (Ana, Danny, Erika, Fred, and Henri) dissipated over the open ocean in the tropical and sub-tropical Atlantic this year. This is a fairly rare occurrence that typically only occurs in years such as this year that are characterized by high levels of tropospheric vertical wind shear.
  • 11.25 hurricane days occurred in 2009. This is the fewest hurricane days since 2002 when 10.75 hurricane days were reported.
  • 2 major hurricanes formed during the 2009 hurricane season. The last time that fewer than two major hurricanes occurred in a season was in 1997 when only one major hurricane (Erika) formed.
  • 3.25 major hurricane days occurred in 2009. This is the fewest major hurricane days in a season since 2006 when only two major hurricane days were recorded.
  • The season accrued an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 50. The 1951 - 2005 average is 102.3, and the 2009 ACE was the lowest since 1997 (41) and the 16th lowest of the last 66 years since the aircraft reconnaissance era began in 1944.
  • No Category 5 hurricanes developed in 2009. This is the second consecutive year with no Category 5 hurricanes. The last time that two or more years occurred in a row with no Category 5 hurricanes was 1999-2002.
  • No named storms formed in June or July. The last time that no storm activity occurred in June or July was 2004 (Alex formed that year on August 1). This is the 18th year of the past 66 years with no storm formations in June or July.
  • Hurricane Bill generated 26 ACE units, or 52% of the seasonal total. The last time that one storm generated that much of the seasonal total was Erika in 1997 which generated 63% of the total ACE observed that year.
  • Hurricane Fred became the third storm on record to reach major hurricane status east of 35°W, although prior to 1972 when Dvorak satellite estimates from polar-orbiting satellite reconnaissance became routinely available, some storms may have been missed in the eastern part of the Atlantic basin.
  • Hurricane Ida became only the second hurricane to reach hurricane status in the Caribbean in November during an El Niño year (where El Niño is defined to be all years since 1950 where the October Niño 3.4 SST anomaly is 0.5ñC or greater). The only other storm to reach hurricane status in the Caribbean in November in an El Niño year was Martha in 1969.
  • Ida became the second latest tropical cyclone to make landfall along the Gulf Coast, trailing only Hurricane Kate in 1985 (which made landfall on November 21).