Since the year 2000, it would appear that tropical storms and hurricanes are happening more frequently, and with more intensity. Are hurricane seasons becoming progressively worse? There are lots of differing views within the scientific community. To form your own opinion, it is helpful to assess the number and kinds of storms we have experienced in this decade.
The most critical storm of the 2000 year was Hurricane Keith, which caused numerous fatalities and has been blamed for considerable amounts of damage in Belize, Nicaragua, and Honduras.
The 2001 season was an unusual year, with no storms really making landfall in america. Hurricane Iris caused significant damage in Belize as it made landfall there as a Category 4 storm. Hurricane Michelle was also a serious storm, causing numerous deaths and significant damage in Jamaica, Cuba, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
During the first 21 days of September 2002, there were 8 recently formed storms, which made that month per record.
But, in 2003, Storm Ana formed on April 20th, which started the season for the first time in fifty years. Isabel caused $3.6 billion in damage and has been blamed for 51 deaths from the Mid Atlantic area of the USA.
The 2004 hurricane season was another elongated calendar year, with the season extended into December. Hurricane raccoon pest control was in charge of this expansion, together with the storm lasting two weeks to the month of December. 2004 was also noted among the most costly and deadly years on record, with 3,132 deaths and about $50 billion U.S. dollars in damage brought on by hurricanes and tropical storms.
The most catastrophic impacts of the season were felt in New Orleans and neighboring regions of the Louisiana shore when a 30-foot storm surge from Hurricane Katrina caused widespread flooding and deaths.
The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season was a not as busy season than 2005. Like 2001, it was an unusual year because no hurricanes really made U.S. landfall.
The season also conducted late this year, with tropical storm Olga growing on December 11, after the season was officially over. Also notable is the fact that 2007 was one of four decades that had more than 1 Category 5 storm. 2007 was also the second season on record where more than 1 storm created U.S. landfall on the exact same day (Felix and Henrietta).
Are hurricanes and other tropical storms becoming worse? Much of the U.S. public might think so, especially with the shock of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which made headlines for several months following the storm. In reality, to this day, New Orleans has still not fully recovered from this storm. As to whether or tropical storms are in fact getting more frequent and more severe, we are not really sure yet. One thing we do know is that record-keeping is a lot more accurate now than it was some fifty years back. Only time will tell what the pattern of hurricanes can perform in the next few years. Meanwhile, we could learn from the past by preparing for the future.