NASA Goddard

NASA Goddard

  • New Smart Channel

Ten-Year Gap in Major Hurricanes Continues

4d ago


Could the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season break the 10-year “hurricane drought” record? It has been a decade since the last major hurricane, Category 3 or higher, made landfall in the United States. This is the longest period of time for the United States to avoid a major hurricane since reliable records began in 1850. According to a NASA study, a 10-year gap comes along only every 270 years. The National Hurricane Center calls any Category 3 or more intense hurricane a “major” storm. Timothy Hall, a research scientist who studies hurricanes at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York and colleague Kelly Hereid, who works for ACE Tempest Re, a reinsurance firm based in Connecticut, ran a statistical hurricane model based on a record of Atlantic tropical cyclones from 1950 to 2012 and sea surface temperature data. The researchers ran 1,000 computer simulations of the period from 1950-2012 – in effect simulating 63,000 separate Atlantic hurricane seasons. They also found that there is approximately a 40% chance that a major hurricane will make landfall in the United States every year. Research: The frequency and duration of U.S. hurricane droughts Journal: Geophysical Research Letters, May 5, 2015 Link to paper: For more information: Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Joy Ng Music credit: Climb the Ladder by Kurt Oldman from the KillerTracks Catalog This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio at: Like our videos? Subscribe to the NASA Goddard YouTube channel: Or subscribe to NASA’s Goddard Shorts HD Podcast: Follow NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center on: Facebook: Twitter: Flickr: Instagram: Google+: