The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season will end Wednesday on a quiet note, but not after going down in history as one of the most active on record.
On Monday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials released a list of final statistics for the season, which included a post-storm upgrade of Tropical Storm Nate to hurricane status and the addition of a previously unclassified, unnamed tropical storm.
In all, 19 named tropical systems prowled the Tropical Atlantic Basin this season, with seven achieving hurricane status and three major hurricane status (Category 3 hurricane or stronger).
With 19 storms, 2011 goes in the record books as tied for the third-highest total since records began in 1851 (joining 1887, 1995 and 2010).
The unnamed tropical system, which formed in early September between Bermuda and Nova Scotia, was added to the list after an analysis of past satellite images by NOAA. The agency points out this storm could have gone undetected in the pre-satellite era.
Concerning the number of hurricanes, 2011 was fairly ordinary.
According to Tropical Weather and Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, "Despite the high number of named systems, most storms were underachievers this year."
In a typical year, 11 storms are named, with six becoming hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
The strongest hurricane was Ophelia, which maxed out at 140-mph sustained winds.
"Most hurricanes formed well away from the U.S. and stayed away from the U.S.," Kottlowski said.
There were three tropical cyclone landfalls this season, which is about typical.
However, Hurricane Irene stood above the rest in reminding the east coast of the U.S. that it only takes one hurricane to make a memorable season.
On Aug. 27th, Irene became the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. mainland since Ike in 2008.
"Irene broke the 'hurricane amnesia' that can develop when so much time lapses between landfalling storms," said Jack Hayes, Ph.D., director of NOAA's National Weather Service.
According to Kottlowski, "A northwesterly flow of dry air and wind shear kept most of the storms away from the U.S. However, the flow backed off just long enough to let Irene, then Lee come ashore."
Irene was responsible for widespread flooding, 56 fatalities and $10.1 billion in damage, with homes, bridges and roads still in the process of being rebuilt from North Carolina to New England more than three months later. Extensive damage also occurred in The Bahamas.
Rainfall from Irene and Lee combined to set rainfall records in a number of locations in the mid-Atlantic and even topped record flood stages along the Susquehanna set during Agnes in 1972.
Both AccuWeather.com and NOAA's long-range forecast teams correctly predicted a busier-than-normal season.
Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed to the content of this story.
Cold air and flurries are in store for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday but should not significantly impact voter turnout.
Snow and slippery travel will arrive in the mid-Atlantic states prior to the middle of the week.
Waves of arctic air invading the eastern half of the United States this week will culminate with the coldest weather of the season so far for some areas by the Valentine's Day weekend.
Chilly air will visit New Orleans this year for the annual Mardi Gras celebrations and linger over the city until later in the week.
Warmer air will build from California to Washington into Tuesday raising temperatures to near-record levels and increasing the risk of wildfires in some areas.
Denver Broncos fans celebrating the Super Bowl win will see ideal conditions for Tuesday's parade and pep rally.
Vega, TX (1956)
61 inches of snow fell from one storm (Feb 1-8) State record for a single storm and for a month.
Snowstorm, worst of season. 12-18 inches in the western mountains . . . a foot common statewide up to 24 inches in the mountains of Vermont, between Bristol and Waitsfield. 16 inches in other mountain areas, 12-14 inches in valleys, 14 inches at Albany, NY and 10 inches at Plattsburgh, NY.
Chicago, FL (1987)
Wind gusts of 65-70 mph from the north and northeast produced 15 foot waves on Lake Michigan. There were extensive shoreline erosion resulting in millions of dollars, and boulders 6 feet in diameter were pushed on shore.