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Busy hurricane season comes to an end

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

November 30, 2010 — The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season was one of the busiest seasons to date. The eastern Pacific season on the other hand set records for inactivity.

A summary of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season
A summary of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

November 30 marks the end of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says it was one of the busiest seasons so far.

Warm Atlantic waters and favourable winds gusting in from Africa is what helped to keep the season active. Nineteen named storms formed in the Atlantic, which is the third highest on record, tied with 1887 and 1995. Twelve of those storms became hurricanes and five actually reached major hurricane status of Category 3 strength or higher.

With it being a La Niña year forecasters predicted it to be an active season, but they didn't foresee the U.S. getting off so lightly. This was the fifth consecutive year without a major hurricane in the region.

Hurricane Earl caused significant damage in Nova Scotia
Hurricane Earl caused significant damage in Nova Scotia

Aside from Texas, where flooding and damage was reported, most of the storms hit places including Haiti, Mexico and the Caribbean. Atlantic Canada saw its fair share of activity as well. The Weather Network's Storm Hunter, Mark Robinson, faced Hurricane Earl head on.

“I love being able to experience hurricanes on the Canadian east coast because they are relatively rare...and oh boy, did we see giant waves and screaming winds. It was great.”

Hurricane Earl slammed into Nova Scotia on September 4, bringing powerful winds and heavy rain to all three Maritime provinces. Hundreds of trees were knocked down and thousands of people were left without power.

On September 21, a massive hurricane named Igor sideswiped Newfoundland, bringing unprecedented damage to the province. Roads were swept away, entire communities were flooded and thousands of people had no electricity.

Other noteworthy storms that caused damage elsewhere included Hurricane Alex, Tropical Storm Hermine and Hurricane Paula.

While La Niña played a significant role in the activity of the Atlantic season, it also helped to suppress storms from strengthening in the eastern Pacific.

Only seven named storms formed, three of which grew into hurricanes. That's the fewest number of named storms on record since the satellite tracking began in the mid 1960's.

With files from Lyndsay Morrison

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