2011 Hurricane Track Summary
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Learn about 2011 Hurricane Summary
The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season produced 20 tropical cyclones, 19 tropical storms, 7 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. It featured an above average number of tropical storms with a near normal number of major hurricanes. The season officially started on June 1 and ended on November 30, dates which conventionally delimit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. The first tropical cyclone, Tropical Storm Arlene, developed on June 28, while the season's last storm, Tropical Storm Sean, dissipated on November 11. The most intense storm, Ophelia, was a Cape Verde-type hurricane that became a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale at an unusually high latitude. The season featured a record sequence of weak tropical storms, beginning with Tropical Storm Arlene, and ending with Harvey. The season's first hurricane, Irene, was a powerful Category 3 hurricane that made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1, causing significant damage and record flooding to the Northeast United States. The season tied 2010, 1995, and 1887 for the third highest number of tropical storms.
Pre-season forecasts released by Colorado State University (CSU) called for 17 tropical storms and 9 hurricanes, of which 5 were expected to attain major hurricane status. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) later issued its initial forecast, which predicted 12 to 18 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to six major hurricanes. The number of tropical storms during the season was slightly above these numbers, while the number of major hurricanes were near normal or slightly below normal.
Several storms made landfall or directly affected land. Tropical Storms Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, and Jose only brought moderate rainfall totals and minor damage to part of Mexico, Caribbean Islands, the Bahamas, and Bermuda throughout the season. Meanwhile, the only storm to strike the USA coastline during the season, Irene, caused significant damage along the United States East Coast, killing many people. Tropical Storm Lee contributed to record rainfall in the Northeast, an area already severely affected by rainfall from Irene. The combined storms killed 114 people and caused greater than $20 billion (2011 USD) in damage.