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Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end

Shelley Steeves, reporter
November 30, 2011 — November 30 marks the end of both the Atlantic hurricane season. We take a look back at some memorable storms.

Satellite image of Hurricane Katia in September 2011
Satellite image of Hurricane Katia in September 2011

As predicted by forecasters, the 2011 hurricane season was an active one.

“It certainly has been an active year with respect to the number of storms out there,” says Bob Robichaud of the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

And it was fairly active here in Canada, too. Five named storm tracked into Canadian waters this year. And a few actually made landfall.

The remnants of Hurricane Irene hit the Maritimes back in August. It petered out by the time it reached the Maritimes. Some trees were toppled, but overall it really wasn't as bad as people were expecting.

Then hurricane Maria hit Newfoundland with not much more than a whimper, despite being an actual Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall.

“Because of the track that was so far east into the Avalon Peninsula the strongest winds associated with Maria just remained off shore,” explains Robicheau. “We did dodge a few bullets this year. We had Hurricane Katia, which was a Cat 4 hurricane just a few days before it veered off toward the east.”

Heavy rain from Tropical Storm Ophelia drenched Newfoundland
Heavy rain from Tropical Storm Ophelia drenched Newfoundland

Katia probably wouldn't have made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, but it likely would have been a major storm. Thanks goodness for near misses!

So now that the season is officially over, even though we faired quite well here in Canada, we did learn a few things.

“Even a post tropical storm is something to pay attention to, even if it's not an actual hurricane,” says Robicheau.

Remember Ophelia that hit Newfoundland in early October? The weaker post tropical storm actually caused more damage than hurricane Maria, proving that, no matter how active the hurricane season is, in the end any storm with a name can bring weather to be reckoned with!

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