Miami: An Atlantic hurricane season that had 14 named storms officially ended on Wednesday, leaving residents in the Florida Keys to celebrate even as others around Florida and Puerto Rico continue to grapple with the damage caused by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona.
The 2022 season had an unusually calm first half but made up for that with the three destructive hurricanes in the second half, ending with an average number of named storms. The season runs from June 1 until Nov. 30.
This year’s period saw eight hurricanes with winds of at least 74 mph, and two of them intensified to major hurricanes with winds reaching at least 111 mph, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An average hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, forecasters said.
This season was notable for a record-tying inactive August. This year was the first time since 1941 that the Atlantic Ocean has gone from July 3 to the end of August with no named storm, Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said. Since 1950, only 1997 and 1961 had no named storms in August.
Several hundred Florida Keys residents gathered Wednesday to mark the season’s close by burning hurricane warning flags. The event featured a blast blown on a conch shell, a symbol of the Keys, and speakers recalled those affected by the 2022 hurricanes and expressed gratitude that the Keys were spared major impacts.