2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recap

The 2010 Hurricane Season featured 19 named storms of which 11 were Hurricanes. 5 of those hurricanes were Majors, Category 3 or higher! Fortunately, none of the big storms made landfall as a Major Hurricane and the many of the storms passed relatively harmlessly out to sea. None the less, damage from the 2010 Hurricane Season exceeded US$20 Billion and cause over 261 direct and 21 indirect deaths.

In the month of September, eight named storms formed, which is the highest ever recorded, tying the 2002 season. In addition, there were three occasions when three tropical cyclones were active simultaneously, with the first set being Danielle, Earl, and Fiona co-existing on August 30-August 31. The second occasion was when Earl, Fiona, and Gaston co-existed on September 1-September 2. The third and most notable was when Igor, Julia, and Karl were active September 14-September 18. During a brief period, on September 15, Igor and Julia were simultaneously Category 4 hurricanes, a very rare occurrence and the first such since 1926. Both were still hurricanes when Karl was upgraded to a hurricane on September 16, the first time since the 1998 season that there were at least three simultaneous hurricanes in the North Atlantic.

The National Hurricane Center's Tropical Cyclone Reports for this season's storms have been posted.

2010 Atlantic Basin Storms

Name

Max.

Name

Max.

Name

Max.

Alex

Alex

Hermine

Hermine

Otto

Otto

Bonnie

Bonnie

Igor

Igor

Paula

Paula

Colin

Colin

Julia

Julia

Richard

Richard

Danielle

Danielle

Karl

Karl

Shary

Shary

Earl

Earl

Lisa

Lisa

Thomas

Thomas

Fiona

Fiona

Matthew

Matthew

Virginie

Virginie

Gaston

Gaston

Nicole

Nicole

Walter

Walter


NOAA has produced a time-lapse video of the Atlantic Basin for the entire 2010 hurricane season. The video is about five minutes long. Watch and try to identify each storm!

2010 Hurricane Season Animation


Hurricane Alex

Hurricane Alex, the first Tropical Cyclone of the 2010 Atlantic Basin Hurricane, made its first landfall near Corozal on the coast of Belize as a Tropical Storm on Saturday June 26, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. TS Alex moved WNW at 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, storm surge of three to five ( 3-5) feet and rainfall of four to eight (4-8) inches were forecasted as the System moved inland. Alex caused heavy rains throughout Belize with pockets of gusty winds in excess of 40 knots in areas of Ambergris Caye, Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize Districts. There were no causalities directly related to Tropical Storm Alex in Belize and economic losses for the country were estimated at BZ$2.5m.

While there were no deaths associated with Alex in Belize, fourteen people were killed in Central America as a result of Alex related flooding: six in Nicaragua, six in El Salvador, and two in Guatemala. In Guatemala, 350 homes and eight highways were damaged, affecting 9,000 people.

Alex crossed the Yucatan Peninsula and strengthened into a Category One Hurricane before making landfall near the US / Mexico border. In Northern Mexico, the storm caused severe devastation in Nuevo Leon, and in particular throughout the Monterey metropolitan area. State governor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz called Alex the "Worst weather phenomenon in its history." In the municipality of Santa Catarina alone, 50,000 people were affected, with property damage being estimated at $93.5 million USD. Alex caused 12 deaths in Mexico.

With his lowest barometric pressure reading of 946 mbar, Alex became the most intense Atlantic hurricane in June since Hurricane Audrey, in 1957 and the second most intense June hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Alex (AL012010)
25 June – 2 July 2010


Tropical Storm Bonnie

Tropical Storm Bonnie was officially classified by the NHC as Tropical Depression Three on June 22nd while located over the Southeastern Bahamas. That afternoon, the NHC upgraded the tropical depression to a Tropical Storm. Bonnie crossed over the Bahamas as a minimal tropical storm, with no damage reported and went on to make landfall on the southeastern coast of Florida on the morning of July 23. Bonnie was downgraded to a tropical depression and moved into the Gulf of Mexico on July 23. Bonnie dissipated over the northern Gulf of Mexico on July 24th. The remnants of the storm moved ashore in southeastern Louisiana and southwest Mississippi early on the morning of July 25, with severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings in the area.

The tropical disturbance that became Bonnie brought significant rainfall to parts of Puerto Rico and Hispainola. In Puerto Rico, one person drowned as a result of the floods and roughly 6,500 people required evacuation. The system produced more than 4 in of rain in the Dominican Republic. Several towns in the country were isolated after bridges collapsed. Some flooding was also reported in the Artibonite Department of Haiti. Bonnie's effects in Florida were minimal, and damage totaled about $2,000.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Bonnie (AL032010)
22 - 24 July 2010


Tropical Storm Colin

Tropical Storm Colin was designated on August 2nd, weakened to a remanent low on August 3rd, regained Tropical Storm strength on August 4th and completely dissipated on August 5th. No land areas were affected.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Colin (AL042010)
2 - 8 August 2010


Hurricane Danielle

Hurricane Danielle became a Tropical Storm on August 22nd and strengthened into a Category Two Hurricane the next day. Between the August 24th and 26th, Danielle weakened to a Tropical Storm and strengthened back to a Category Two Hurricane. On August 27, Danielle strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane, becoming the first major hurricane of the season, and further strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane the same day.

Danielle became extra-tropical early on August 31 southeast of Newfoundland having never directly impacting land. It was fully absorbed by a larger extra-tropical low on September 4 over Greenland. Along the east coast of the United States, two people drowned after being caught in rip currents produced by Hurricane Danielle.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Danielle (AL062010)
21 - 30 August 2010


Hurricane Earl

Hurricane Earl was declared a Tropical Storm on August 25th. The storm remained a Tropical Storm until August 29, 2010, when Earl strengthened into the season's third hurricane, then quickly intensified to a Category 4 storm, the season's second major hurricane, as it approached to Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

After traveling up the USA East Coast, causing very minimal damage, Earl made landfall in the Canadian Maritime Provinces, twice in Nova Scotia and once in Prince Edward Island (PEI) at hurricane intensity. The city of Halifax and regions of the province, as well as eastern PEI, experienced many uprooted trees and power outages but overall damage was minamal.

Hurricane Earl caused and estimated $150 million in damage in the Caribbean. Five deaths were directly attributable to the storm and the total damage estimate associated with Earl is around US$45 million.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Earl (AL072010)
25 August - 4 September 2010


Tropical Storm Fiona

Tropical Storm Fiona formed on August 30. The storm struggled to develop further, however, hindered by high wind shear from the outflow of the much larger and stronger Hurricane Earl. Fiona managed to briefly strengthen into a 65 mph storm before slowly weakening. Fiona degraded into a tropical wave just south of Bermuda early on September 4, bringing about an inch of rain to that island nation. The remnants of Fiona drifted northeastwards across the open Atlantic Ocean and were absorbed by a stationary front on September 6.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Fiona (AL082010)
30 August - 3 September 2010


Tropical Storm Gaston

Tropical Storm Gaston developed into a tropical depression on September 1st, intensifying into Tropical Storm Gaston later that day. While The National Hurricane Center had forecast Gaston to develop into a hurricane, instead it weakened back to a tropical depression and later into a remnant low. Gaston's remnants tracked across the Atlantic, and the NHC gave it 70%-80% chance of redeveloping. After it had passed the Leeward Islands the storm fell apart. By September 9th, even the remnants were gone.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Gaston (AL092010)
1 - 2 September 2010


Tropical Storm Hermine

Tropical Storm Hermine formed out of an area of disturbed weather in the Bay of Campeche on September 6. Hermine landfall that evening in northeastern Mexico, south of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, as a strong tropical storm with 65 mph winds. After landfall, Hermine weakened into a depression. Damage reported in the Rio Grande Valley region was primarily downed trees and power lines. A woman drowned in a rip current related to Hermine in Jamaica Beach, Texas. On the evening of September 7, 2010, multiple Tornado Warnings were issued in Austin, Texas, with two confirmed touchdowns east of the city and one in the city. On September 9, Hermine became extratropical.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Hermine (AL102010)
5 - 9 September 2010


Hurricane Igor

Hurricane Igor became a Tropical Storm on September 8th southeast of the Cape Verde islands. After struggling with wind shear and dry air strengthened into a hurricane, on September 11th. The storm began a cycle of rapid intensification early on September 12th, becoming a Category 4 hurricane that afternoon.

On September 19, a much weakened storm battered Bermuda as a Category 1 hurricane. On September 20, the storm grew to a diameter of 661 miles. Prior to becoming fully extratropical, the storm grew further to 863 miles. During the day on September 21st, eastern regions of Newfoundland experienced tropical storm and hurricane force winds. Damage due to extensive flooding, fallen trees, power outages, and at least one person killed were reported. Igor became extratropical east of Newfoundland on September 21st with the remnants becoming completely absorbed by a larger extratropical storm in Baffin Bay on September 26th. That storm moved into the Greenland glacier at southern Davis Bay, and eventually crossed the Atlantic Ocean to impact Europe.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Igor (AL112010)
8 - 21 September 2010


Hurricane Julia

Hurricane Julia strengthened into a Tropical Storm early on September 13th. That day Tropical Storm Julia hit the Cape Verde Islands with strong winds and heavy rains. During the night of September 14th, an eye-like feature developed, and in less than 18 hours Julia intensified into a Category 1 hurricane. Contrary to all of the forecasts and computer models, rapid intensification commenced early on September 15th, and Julia strengthened into a Category 4 storm early that morning, with a peak intensity of 140 mph. Having reaching this intensity at 31.8°W, Julia became the easternmost Category 4 hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin in the satellite era.

Julia weakened to a tropical storm on September 18. On September 20, Julia became extratropical.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Julia (AL122010)
12 - 20 September 2010


Hurricane Karl

Hurricane Karl: An area of low pressure stalled around the Northern Venezuela coast on September 11. It moved northward and then westward, bringing squally weather to Hispainola and Jamaica. Convection fluctuated throughout these days. On September 14, the circulation became very well defined and NHC declared the disturbance Tropical Storm Karl. It was located 315 miles east of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Karl made his first landfall as a strong Tropical Storm just north of Chetumal, Mexico with 65mph winds and heavy rain. Northern Belize receive tropical storm force winds and heavy rain from early morning Wednesday, September 15th until just before noon. Rain fall total in Consejo, Belize for the storm was 4.5 inches.

Karl crossed the Yucatan Peninsula through Wednesday and emerged in the Bay of Campeche where it rapidly regained all the strength lost passing over land. Early Friday morning, Karl under went rapid intensification, becoming a strong Category 3 Hurricane with 115mph winds, before making his second landfall 15 miles north the city of Veracruz, Mexico at 10:30am. 22 people have been confirmed killed in Mexico, most of which were in the state of Veracruz. Flooding from Karl caused an estimated $5.6 billion in damage to Mexico, making Karl 2010's most damaging storm. Karl was the strongest hurricane, and the only major hurricane, ever recorded in the Bay of Campeche.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Karl (AL132010)
14 - 18 September 2010


Hurricane Lisa

Hurricane Lisa started as a low pressure area west of the Cape Verde islands and developed into Tropical Depression Fourteen on September 20th, then intensified to Tropical Storm Lisa just six hours later. Contrary to all predictions of it turning to the northwest, Lisa moved eastward back towards the Cape Verde islands. It erratically meandered west of the islands for the next day as a weak tropical storm. Lisa weakened to a tropical depression on September 22nd, but strengthened back to a minimal tropical storm the following day.

Lisa rapidly intensified on September 24th, and it became a Category 1 hurricane with a small size and a tiny pinhole eye. During the period of strengthening, Lisa finally began following its forecast track, and moved off to the northwest, remaining a very small storm. In the late morning of September 25th, Lisa lost its hurricane status and weakened to a tropical storm. On September 26, Lisa weakened to a tropical depression and became a remnant low several hours later.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Lisa (AL142010)
20 - 26 September 2010


Tropical Storm Matthew

Tropical Storm Matthew made his first landfall near the Nicaragua / Honduras border Friday Sept. 24th around noon local time. The storm was packing 65mph winds and heavy rain. It retained Tropical Storm intensity even after crossing the mountains of Honduras. The storm spent a brief time over the waters of the NW Caribbean before making a second landfall in Southern Belize on Saturday, the 25th also about noon local time. Toledo and Stan Creek districts received heavy rain that caused moderate flooding with the resulting bridge closures. Northern Belize receive gale force winds and heavy rain in squalls from Friday night through Sunday Morning.

Matthew moved into Guatemala dumping heavy rain then into Mexico where the storm stalled and dissipated. Mexico also received flooding rains in the same region Hurricane Karl visited just 10 days earlier. We are still awaiting damage and casualty reports for the various countries affected by Matthew.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Matthew (AL152010)
23 - 26 September 2010


Hurricane Nicole

Hurricane Nicole attained tropical storm status on September 29th. Six hours later, Nicole dissipated to a remnant low over the Florida Straits as its circulation center became "untrackable" according to the NHC.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Nicole (AL152010)
28 - 29 September 2010


Hurricane Otto

Hurricane Otto began life as Subtropical Depression Seventeen on October 6th while located 270 mi (435 km) to the north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It strengthened into Subtropical Storm Otto several hours later followed by additional tropical cyclogenesis that transitioned Otto into a tropical storm on October 7. On October 8, the storm further intensified and attained hurricane status. Otto quickly began to weaken, and subsequently developed frontal cloud bands and became a cold core system. The National Hurricane Center issued the last advisory on for Otto on October 10. The remnant low of Otto continued to drift in the Atlantic Ocean until it dissipated near Portugal on October 16. Otto caused the worst flooding in the history of the British Virgin Islands, though no casualties were reported.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Otto (AL172010)
6 - 10 October 2010


Hurricane Paula

Hurricane Paula On October 11 satellite observation data collection from an overflying Hurricane Hunter aircraft confirmed the formation of a tropical depression near the northeastern Honduran coast. The system continued to intensify rapidly, and Tropical Storm Paula was named later that day. In the early hours of October 12, Paula intensified into a Category 1 hurricane. The storm continued to strengthen and was upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane later that day. The next day, Paula began to weaken and was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. On October 14, Paula was further downgraded to a tropical storm as it succumbed to the effects of wind shear, and it weakened to a tropical depression the next day. The remnants of Hurricane Paula continued to impact Cuba until it dissipated on October 16.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Paula (AL182010)
11 - 15 October 2010


Hurricane Richard

Hurricane Richard was initially designated as Tropical Depression Nineteen on October 19th south of the Cayman Islands. The depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Richard on the morning of October 21st. On October 24, Richard was upgraded to a hurricane, with further strengthening predicted before landfall in Belize. Shortly before landfall, it developed a small, cloudy eye.

Belize Radar At Landfall

Hurricane Richard roared into Belize the evening of Sunday, October 24th, crushing the picturesque village of Gales Point Manatee, which was directly in its path. Richard rampaged westward over open country to Belmopan, Roaring Creek, Camalote, Teakettle, Ontario and Unitedville, destroying village homes and tearing up the landscape. The storm pummeled central and southern Belize for 8 hours with winds of nearly 90 miles per hour and torrential rains. Richard cause most the nation to loose power, downed some of the tallest trees and electricity poles, ripped off roofing, banged up wooden homes, and left a trail of substantial wreckage in its path.

The hurricane was expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm after landfall, but Richard maintained winds of over hurricane force while within Belize's borders. The nation's capital, Belmopan, which was built 50 miles inland 29 years ago following Hurricane Hattie, experienced a strong category 1 hurricane with winds between 80 and 90 miles per hour.

Early reports claim 831 homes either partially or completely damaged across 55 communities, during the course of the hurricane. Total damage estimates associated with Richard are reported to be in excess of US$80 million.

At least three deaths are linked to the hurricane. Brian Cullerton was mauled to death by a jaguar which escaped when his cage was struck by a fallen tree in the hurricane. The jaguar was recaptured and put down on Wednesday. Arturo Gilharry, one of three men trapped on the raging seas, died when the hurricane capsized their boat. Edmund Forte survived the ordeal but Barrington Gomez, the third man in the boat, could not be found and is presumed to have died.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Richard (AL192010)
20 - 25 October 2010


Hurricane Shary

Hurricane Shary originated from a weak area of convection associated with an upper-level low that formed on October 27, northeast of the Leeward Islands. The overall structure became better defined and early on October 29 the system was named Tropical Storm Shary. Shary was located about 350 miles southeast of Bermuda. On October 30, Shary was upgraded to Category 1 hurricane. The NHC described Shary as a case of a small hurricane that would not have been observed prior to the availability of satellite images. Shary became extratropical later that day.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Shary (AL202010)
28 - 30 October 2010


Hurricane Thomas

Hurricane Thomas started to become organized on October 28. The next day a Hurricane Hunter flight confirmed the development of a surface circulation. The NHC initiated advisories on Tropical Storm Tomas late on October 29, located about 200 miles southeast of Barbados. Thomas crossed the Windward Islands as a Category 1 hurricane. After that, southwesterly shear and dry air weakened Tomas to a tropical storm. Early on November 2, Tropical Storm Tomas re-intensified slightly, but later weakened to a tropical depression. Then on the evening of November 3, Tomas restrengthened into a tropical storm. Early on November 5, it became a hurricane again as it neared Haiti and Cuba.

Outflow from Tomas affected Costa Rica with heavy rains that caused mud slides and flooding, killing 27 Costa Rican citizens and destroying roads and communities. It caused $572 million in damages and killed 41 people, of which 14 were in St. Lucia.


Some other notable feature of the 2010 season:

  • There were twelve hurricanes in the Atlantic in 2010, yet none of them struck the U.S. Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with ten or more hurricanes where none has struck the U.S. as a hurricane.
  • Eleven named storms formed between August 22 and September 29. This is the most named storms to form during this period, breaking the old record of nine named storms set in 1933 and repeated in 1949, 1984 and 2002
  • On September 16, there were three simultaneous Atlantic hurricanes--Karl, Igor, and Julia. This has occurred only eight other times since 1851.
  • On September 15, Hurricane Julia and Hurricane Igor were both Category 4 storms. This was just the second time in recorded history that two simultaneous Category 4 or stronger storms have occurred in the Atlantic. The only other occurrence was on 06 UTC September 16, 1926, when the Great Miami Hurricane and Hurricane Four were both Category 4 storms for a six-hour period.
  • Four Cat 4+ storms formed in the Atlantic Basin in just twenty days, beating the previous record for shortest time span of 24 for four Cat 4+ storms to appear set in 1999.
  • Hurricane Alex had the highest sustained winds (100 mph) of any June hurricane since Hurricane Alma of 1966 (125 mph.)
  • As Hurricane Earl approached North Carolina on September 2, its 140 mph winds made it the fourth strongest Atlantic hurricane on record so far north.
  • Hurricane Igor killed one person on Newfoundland, and damage exceeded $100 million, making Igor the most damaging tropical cyclone in Newfoundland history.
  • Hurricane Julia put on a remarkable and unexpected burst of intensification to become the season's fourth Category 4 storm. Julia's 135 mph winds made it the strongest hurricane on record so far east
  • Hurricane Karl was the first major hurricane on record in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Flooding from Karl caused an estimated $5.6 billion in damage to Mexico, making Karl this year's most damaging storm.
  • Hurricane Paula, the 16th named storm and 9th hurricane of the season, set a modern record for the fastest intensification from the issuance of the first advisory to hurricane strength. Paula reached hurricane strength just twelve hours after the first advisory was issued.
  • The formation of Tomas so far south and east so late in the season (October 29) is unprecedented in the historical record; no named storm has ever been present east of the Lesser Antilles (61.5°W) and south of 12°N latitude so late in the year. Tomas was the 6th deadliest late-season Atlantic hurricane on record, and its preliminary death toll of 31 - 41 makes it the deadliest storm of the 2010 season. Tomas killed at least nine people and did at least $100 million in damage to St. Lucia, making it that island's second most damaging storm on record.