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22005 Atlantic Hurricane Season ends
and sets a record with 26 named storms

At the end of the Atlantic storm season on November 30th, 2005 a record 26 tropical storms and hurricanes were named including Epsilon which developed into a hurricane days after the official end. Never before has a season exhausted the prepared list of tropical storm and hurricane name and had to resort to the Greek number system.

Recent studies have observed that the proportion and number of intense hurricanes has increased since the mid 1970s, and that these changes have occurred in tandem with a rise in sea surface temperature. Some scientists have suggested that the present global warming trend and resulting change in sea surface temperature will yield more destructive hurricanes, hence, increased damage to coastal infrastructure. In total 2,823 human lives were lost and approximately $214 billion worth of damage caused by this season's tempests.

Photo credits: EUMESTAT, GOES, NASA Earth Observatory, NOAA and Naval Research Lab.

Compiled by the Marine Photobank.

*Contact Reuven Walder for special requests at marinephotobank@seaweb.org.

Other Facts:

Breakdown of all 26 tropical storms and hurricanes:

There were 13 classified hurricanes and 13 tropical storms:

  • Hurricanes:
    Category 1: Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Stan and Vince
    Category 2: Irene
    Category 3: Maria and Beta
    Category 4: Dennis and Emily
    Category 5: Katrina, Rita and Wilma
  • Tropical Storms:
    Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Jose,
    Lee, Tammy, Alpha, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon

Previous record of 21 Atlantic storms in one season was set in 1933.

The World Health Organization estimated that global warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change over the past 30 years claimed 150,000 lives each year. WHO predicts this number will double over the next 30 years if the trend continues. (The World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2002 WHO, Geneva, 2002)

For Additional Studies:

Webster, P.J., G. J. Holland, J. A. Curry, and H.-R. Chang, 2005: Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment, Science, 309 (5742), 1844-1846. Available online.

Emanuel, K. A., 2005: Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature, 436, 686-688. Available online.

Patz J.A., D Campbell-Lendrum, T Holloway, J A. Foley. Impact of regional climate change on human health. Nature 438, 310-317 (17 Nov 2005)

Hunt, J.C.R. and TU Delft, 2005: Inland and coastal flooding: developments in prediction and prevention. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. 363, 1475-1491

Compiled by the Marine Photobank.