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Fierce hurricane season comes to an end

Bermuda escaped relatively unscathed in one of the fiercest hurricane seasons on record.

Meteorologists at the Bermuda Weather Service said the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which ended on Tuesday, was the third most active on record.

Meteorologists recorded 19 named storms in total, 12 of which reached hurricane strength.

Of the 12 hurricanes, five reached Category 3 intensity or greater.

Despite several near misses and close calls only one of the storms, Hurricane Igor, made a direct impact on Bermuda.

The Category 1 storm hit the Island on September 19 the Bermuda Weather Service recorded winds of 79 knots (91mph) and gusts up to 102 knots (117mph).

Mark Guishard, of the Bermuda Weather Service, said yesterday: “Thankfully, Igor had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall there were previous forecasts that it might impact us as a Category 3 storm, as the devastating Hurricane Fabian did in 2003.

“Several other storms either brushed by Bermuda causing large waves, such as Danielle, or fizzled out on our doorsteps, namely Colin, Fiona and Shary.

“Despite few impacts over the United States, our neighbours to the south did not fare well, with most notably Hurricane Tomas making impacts on several Caribbean countries, causing deadly landslides and flooding.”

Dr Guishard and meteorologist James Dodgson said much of the hurricane activity in the Atlantic was actually caused by weather in the Pacific Ocean.

“The climate regime in the Pacific went from an El Nino phase, with warmer east Pacific sea surface temperatures than average, to a La Nina phase, with anomalously cold sea surface temperatures in the East Pacific, in the late Spring/early Summer,” said Mr Dodgson.

“The resulting removal of vertical wind shear meant that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season saw an increase in activity over previous years.”

He also said that because of the predictable shift of conditions, the seasonal forecasts were quite accurate overall.

In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) called for 14 to 20 named storms, eight to 12 hurricanes and four to six major hurricanes.

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Published December 02, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 10, 2010 at 3:40 am)

Fierce hurricane season comes to an end

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