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.
With the help of a new moon, stargazers are in for a treat as the peak of the Delta Aquarids meteor shower unfolds in the predawn hours Tuesday, July 29.
A tropical wave west of the Cape Verde Islands looks like it could be the next named tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin.
Following thunderstorms, cooler settles into the Midwest and Northeast through Midweek.
Cooler-than-normal temperatures are in store for Chicago this week.
One person is dead, and another remains critically injured after a lightning strike in Southern California.
Relief is on the way for portions of the Plains that are in the grips of the ongoing drought.
Colorado Springs, Colorado (1978)
A freak thunderstorm dropped damaging hail to a depth of 2 feet. Much of it had to be plowed from the freeway.
July 29th is historically a rainy day in Waynesburg, PA. It all began in 1878 when a farmer casually told drug store clerk William Allison that it always seemed to rain on July 29th in this southwestern PA town. The clerk made a note of it and started keeping a yearly tabulation. July 29th, 2001 was the 104th rainfall in the past 124 years on this date.
Mt. Washington, NH (1989)
34 degrees with a 45-mph wind gust (minus 6 degrees wind chill temperature).