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Goodbye hurricanes, Houston! For now ...

HOUSTON – The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially ended last Saturday but certainly doesn't go down as a 'nothing' season. Setting all kinds of records was the monster Dorian (the above picture), but as impressive as satellite pictures are, the real story is always the damage left behind. My friend, Sanford Steinberg, has a home in Guana Cay, Bahamas which took a direct Dorian hit. He shared these pics with me:

A few still photos never do justice to the miles and miles of death and destruction.

The other stand out for us, of course, was Tropical Storm Imelda which was a tropical storm for all of 45 minutes. But it's those weak slow-movers that produce our severe flooding as the slower they move, the more rain they can drop. From Southeast Montgomery County through Kingwood to Winnie to Beaumont, an easy 30-40" of rain fell over a twelve hour period.

So, now that it's done, just how did the forecast go for 2019? The actual number of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes came out as 18-6-3, which is to say that of the 18 storms, six revved up to actual hurricane strength and, of those, half of them became major Cat 3 or stronger hurricanes (111mph winds or higher).

That said, most of the forecasts did very well, especially in terms of the number of hurricanes (6) and the major ones (3). Here's a look at the predictions:

As we always say, it only takes one, whether it's a very weak Imelda or a monster Dorian.

Atlantic Hurricane Season 2020? Those initial early forecasts will likely come out this month. Right now, based on the lack of an El Nino, I suspect we'll see a lot of forecasts for a slightly above average season (12 tropical storms, 6 hurricanes, 3 major). So, a lot like 2019.

Bottom line: nothing to worry about tropically speaking for the next six months!

Frank

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