Hurricane 2015 season closes out below normal

Published 5:04 pm Monday, November 30, 2015

The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season may have been below normal, but the same weather pattern that kept tropical weather at bay is likely to result in a wetter, colder winter.

The latest hurricane season, running from June 1 to November 30, was slightly below average, with only eleven named storms. Of those, only 11 reached hurricane status.

Typically, the average number of storms per year is 12.1 tropical storms, 6.4 hurricanes, 2.7 major hurricanes — those reaching Category 3 or higher —

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Renowned hurricane forecasters Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray from Colorado State University predicted a below average season, with 7 named storms, three of which were expected to reach hurricane strength and one a major storm.

Tropical Storm Bill, which struck the Corpus Christi area, posed the biggest threat to Southeast Texas when, in mid-June, the storm resulted in extensive flooding in the Houston area.

Overall, 88 people were killed directly from the storms during the 2015 season, and two indirectly.

A total of $590.7 million in damages can be attributed to the 2015 Hurricane Season.

“A good bit of the below normal season is attributed to El Nino,” Donald Jones, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Monday in a telephone interview.

Bill was not only the closest storm to the Southeast Texas area, it was the only storm to enter the Gulf all season.

Typically, an El Nino pattern will produce warmer waters in the Eastern Pacific just offshore of Peru in South America. In turn, when those warm waters begin to evaporate, the added moisture in the atmosphere produces more unstable weather.

“The Eastern Pacific was very active this year. That is a direct result of El Nino as well,” Jones said. “

While El Nino resulted in less tropical activity this season, the pattern is expected to last into the late spring, producing a cooler and wetter winter across Southeast Texas, Jones said.

Greg Fountain, Jefferson County emergency coordinator, urged people to prepare for the winter months just as they did for hurricane season.

“Because we should still be in a heavy El Nino this winter, people should be prepared for the possibility to ice on lines and electrical outages,” Fountain said.

Just because the 2015 Hurricane is over does not mean the threat of inclement weather is over.

“Go to to get a family plan in place for any natural or even man-made event,” Fountain said.


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