--Thursday, 01 December 2005--

Hurricane season comes to an end

The 2005 hurricane season came to an end Wednesday, and will go down on record as the busiest of all time. How many storms were there? Enough that the storms were no longer assigned names, but rather Greek letters.

According to the Associated Press, in 154 years of record keeping, this year had the most named storms (26, including Tropical Storm Epsilon, which formed Tuesday), hurricanes (13), and top-scale Category 5 hurricanes (3). The previous record for named storms was 21. While there were plenty of storms, one in particular will stand out for years to come.

Hurricane Katrina, which walloped New Orleans and the U.S. Gulf Coast, was the costliest in history, causing $34.4 billion of damage and killed more than 1,300 people, the most by a hurricane since 1928. According to the AP, total insured losses from hurricanes this year are $47.2 billion, above the previous record of $22.9 billion in 2004. Hurricane Wilma also set records.

It was the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record in terms of minimum central pressure (882 millibars).
It also was the fastest strengthening storm on record, increasing in strength a record 105 mph in a 24 hour period. The BVI, however, was spared once again.

The territory has not been hit by a hurricane in 10 years. Next year, though, is looking like a busy season. "The battle against the hurricane season is won during the off season.

Winter and spring is the time to conduct hurricane preparations, such as stocking supplies," said Max Mayfield, director of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

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