Today marks the end of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season and despite early dire warnings not one hurricane hit the U.S., reminds Grumpy Editor.
Back on May 28, most newspapers devoted much space to 2010 predictions.
Some ran photos of past hurricane devastation scenes to alarm readers on what lies ahead.
Television newscasts (digging up footage of swaying palms trees and flooded streets) weren’t far behind.
Those reports were enough to send some anxious readers/viewers promptly to Home Depot, Lowe’s and other home improvement stores for fresh plywood and batteries.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a 70 percent chance of 14 to 23 named storms during the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, with eight to 14 of them reaching hurricane force.
Those predictions were fairly accurate. Yet, hurricane-force winds stayed away from the U.S. coast with most of the activity in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Three to seven hurricanes were predicted six months ago to become category 3 or higher. That meant winds would reach at least 111 m.p.h.
A storm is elevated to hurricane level when winds attain 74 miles an hour.
Nearing the end of the season, Hurricane Earl, while getting up to 145 m.p.h. at its peak in the Atlantic, weakened to a tropical storm in early September by the time it reached North Carolina’s Outer Banks, then passed Cape Cod, Mass.
Hurricane Tomas, which hit the Caribbean late last month, was the 19th named storm and 12th hurricane.
Look for a prediction of 2011 hurricanes, with file art, to appear in newspapers in late May.