As the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season comes to a close three things come to mind. Hurricane Dorian was the main story, many named storms do not always translate in to more impacts to land and what’s with all the cats 5s (2 more Dorian & Lorenzo 6 since 2016). The season ended with 18 named storms with the average since 1990 at 14 named storms would make this season seem busy.
Had it not been for hurricane Dorian hitting the N.W Bahamas as a category 5 this season would have been considered a bust relative to the preseason hype. Of course Dorian did impact the outer banks of North Carolina with surge flooding but as a weakening system with the highest winds remaining offshore. Tropical Storm Imelda flooded out parts of the north Texas coastline & hurricane Barry impacted the S.E Central Louisiana coastline but with mainly tropical storm force winds. Not minimizing the impacts from these systems but the potential mass destruction & loss of life was simply not there for the U.S. There were others in the basin as well including 3 systems impacting the Azores islands in the N.E Atlantic but mainly minimal impacts. It was the islands of Great Abaco & Grand Bahama which had a high death toll with many still missing along with catastrophic damage that was THE STORY.
Of the 18 named storms in the Atlantic basin 8 impacted land with 40 mph plus winds which translates to 44% of named storms this season. Considering since 1990 that average is 57% makes this season well below normal for the amount of named storms to impact land. This leads to the assumption many including experts make that more activity translates to more landfalls but that’s not always the case. What is interesting is this map I created back in 2016 showing who gets impacted during certain numbers of named storms. Notice the 18 plus in red areas for the U.S were both impacted this season .
On June 1st of this year I made my annual hurricane season landfall predictions which was distributed to my list of people that donate to hurricanecity.com. Up until last year this list was made public which also included potential map tracks & a video explanation. More and more people were starting to pay attention with upwards of 20,000 views on the videos alone. Years ago I used to have a annual hurricane season kickoff show where I would announce my cities & islands to be impacted. As the years have passed and mainly due to social networking (free abundant info) donations have fallen flat at HC with many of the same people donating on an annual basis. For that reason I decided to only distribute this info to these people in a private email along with updates throughout the season. If you would like to donate & be added to the list please visit my donation page
As for my predictions this was by far my best season ever with not just my top 5 which I like to focus on but my top 9 were impacted. This is amazing considering only 44% of the storms this year impacted land well below the 57% average. After each season I update my predictions page so you can keep a running tab of what I said vs what actually happened. A few years ago on the James Spann show called weather brains I was asked by James “what are we supposed to do with this information?” I always say everyone should be ready but if you are in my top 5 there is a good chance you will be impacted spread the word.
On a final note my heart breaks for the residents of Great Abaco & Grand Bahama islands as it will take many years to get back to normal from hurricane Dorian. Nassau #2 dodged a bullet & Abaco #6 were warned maybe it’s about time more “experts” focused on landfalls & not numbers. Will we see more cat 5s in 2020? Please follow me on twitter thank you…..Jim Williams