Another Down Year in USA For Tornadoes & Major Hurricanes

By: - Climate DepotDecember 6, 2016 7:32 PM with 95 comments

By Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Vencore, Inc. – 


Whether you’re talking about major (category 3, 4 or 5) hurricanes or tornadoes, there is good news this year for the US in that – similar to most recent years – these extreme weather-related events are down across the nation compared-to-normal.  In fact, in the case of tornadoes, we are on pace for one of the quietest years in the last decade and with respect to land falling major hurricanes in the US, an unprecedented streak in the record-keeping era continues through yet another tropical season.


In our springtime “Tropical Outlook”, Vencore Weather indicated it would likely be an above-normal tropical season in the Atlantic Basin which includes the tropical Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico with 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.  As it stands now, the Atlantic Basin saw 15 named storms during 2016, including 7 hurricanes (Alex, Earl, Gaston, Hermine, Matthew, Nicole, and Otto), 3 of which were major hurricanes (Gaston, Matthew and Nicole) in the first above-normal season since 2012.  A major factor in that above-normal outlook was the anticipated demise of El Nino in the tropical Pacific Ocean which peaked late in 2015.  El Nino (warmer-than-normal water) actually has an inhibiting effect on tropical activity in the Atlantic Basin as it tends to increase wind shear in that region.  Five named storms made landfall in the United States during 2016, the most since 2008 when six storms struck; however, none of these were of major hurricane status. Tropical Storms Colin and Julia, and Hurricane Hermine made landfall in Florida.  Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Matthew struck South Carolina. The strongest and longest-lived storm of the season was Matthew, which reached maximum sustained surface winds of 160 miles per hour and lasted as a major hurricane for eight days from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7. In fact, Matthew was the first category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Felix in 2007.

Storm tracks in the Atlantic Basin during the 2016 tropical season; map courtesy Unisys

Storm tracks in the Atlantic Basin during the 2016 tropical season; map courtesy Unisys

Much of this year’s tropical activity in the Atlantic Basin stayed out over the Atlantic Ocean sparing the US with any landfalling major hurricanes.  In fact, this major hurricane drought in the US continues an unprecedented streak in the record-keeping era which began in the middle 1800’s.  The last major hurricane to strike the US mainland was Hurricane Wilma of late October 2005 which was a record-breaking year for tropical activity.  Furthermore, this year continues a downtrend in hurricanes of any intensity for the US mainland.  The number of hurricane landfalls in the US of any intensity over the last eight years is four and that is the lowest on record (highest in an 8-year period is 22 (1916); source Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.

One streak that did end this year in the US was another unprecedented streak in which the state of Florida had not been hit by a hurricane of any intensity until Hurricane Hermine came ashore in early September as a category 1 storm.  By the way, just as a point of comparison, in 1954 the US was hit by 3 major hurricanes in less than 10 weeks.


Blue bar at far right represents the record-breaking number of days in the US without any major hurricane landfalls (Note-the streak is projected out to the beginning of the next hurricane season which officially will begin on June 1, 2017); source Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.

One of the best ways to measure tropical activity is with “accumulated cyclone energy” (ACE) which takes into account both the strength and longevity of tropical systems.  ACE is a commonly-used metric for assessing tropical activity because it is not dependent on exact numbers of named storms or hurricanes, but rather is based on both the intensity and longevity of all tropical storms and hurricanes (so a long-lived tropical storm could contribute as much ACE as a short-lived storm that reached hurricane intensity).  As of early December, the ACE measured this tropical season in the Atlantic Basin is at 135% of normal as calculated by Weather Bell Analytics with a large portion of the contribution coming from the long-lasting and powerful Hurricane Matthew (data source: Weather Bell Analytics (Dr. Ryan Maue).

One final note, one of the reasons the Southeast US suffered through very dry conditions this summer and fall (and wildfires) was largely a result of the lack of tropical moisture as many systems stayed out over the Atlantic Ocean.  An important portion of the yearly precipitation totals in the Southeast US comes from the remains of tropical systems.


Despite a spike in tornado activity during the latter part of November, the year as a whole is well below normal and is on pace to be the second quietest in the last decade.   While November may not seem like a normally active month for tornadoes, there are on average 58 tornadoes during November (1991-2010) so a spike at the end of the month was not unprecedented.  In fact, only one November back to the 1950’s completed without any tornadoes and that was in the year 1976.  There are really two peak time periods in the US for tornadoes with the first being in the spring and the second in the fall which tends to peak in the month of November.  One of the reasons for this double-peak of tornadoes is that there is a sharp temperature contrast across the US in both the spring and fall seasons.  The difference is instead of retreating cold and advancing warmth in the spring, the reverse holds true during autumn, but both seasons can feature tornadic activity.  This down year in tornadoes across the US continues the recent trend of down years when compared-to-normal.

The annual tornado trends chart is courtesy NOAA/NSSL/Storm Prediction Center (Harold Brooks and Greg Carbin) in Norman, Oklahoma.


Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Vencore, Inc.


Related Links: 

NOAA: Number of major tornadoes in 2015 was ‘one of the lowest on record’ – Tornadoes below average for 4th year in a row – ‘The year finished with 481 tornadoes of EF-1 strength or greater, the fourth year in a row that has been below average. Perhaps more significantly, the number of EF-3 and stronger tornadoes was one of the lowest on record. You have to go back to 1987 to find fewer. There were no EF-5s at all, and only three EF-4s.’

  • Scott

    Now that’s inconvenient.

    • iisac Abraham

      This is without a doubt the real inconvenient truth.

  • yiddishlion

    Should I even bother?

  • aeroguy48

    Drudge linked.

    • Fatty Matty


  • St8kout
    • lostinnm

      The weather is controlled and manufactured…EXTORTION/CONTROL of the masses is their end game.

      • 3GSimpleton

        The weather reports are controlled and manufactured…EXTORTION/CONTROL of the masses is their end game.


    • Genevievehkinlaw

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj358d:
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  • Ted’s Victim

    2016 Hurricane Season Satellite Imagery Animation – May thru November

  • Jim Caldwell

    You know they are warped when they are disappointed we haven’t had enough destructive/killer weather.

    • Churyl Minne

      One thing the left is doing now is trying to change the storm classification systems so that it will appear that they were right all along.

      • Bill

        You mean like adjusting historical temperatures down to “prove” warming?

      • Joe_Keedoke

        And “newsy” so Jews can sell advertising. My fave is the replacement of “heavy snow watch/warning” with “blizzard warning” or “winter storm warning.” I remember when the NOAA’s definition for “blizzard” required temperatures under 20 degrees for at least 6 hours. Not no more.

  • Trickyricky

    This can’t be so. Obama said Global warming would create more “super storms” and they will be stronger than anything we have ever seen. Guess that was just another Obama lie, he does that a lot.

    • BinRaleigh

      It is only a lie IF you know it is false when you say it.

      Now if he would just STOP talking about things he has no knowledge about…

    • Honest John

      Right idea, BUT I think it was that famous climatologist Al Gore who gets credit for those absurd pronouncements. Surely Obama agreed and helped fan the flames, but the primary perp was Al.

      • Trickyricky

        Oh no, Obama actually said that but I feel sure it was a favor to AG.

  • Leone

    Nice weather seems to drive the Lefty Green Lobby crazy…Just imagine the emptiness and lack of purpose to a life spent wallowing in self-pity and personal angst over a beautiful day.

    Nothing a good round of psychotherapy and a cocktail of pharmaceuticals couldn’t cure.

    • hiram floss

      or a half ounce of lead

      • TMAC

        240 grains administered inter cranial works every time.

    • rushevents

      My personal favorite is the number of global warming conventions that have been interrupted by heavy snow and ice.

  • Lurch47

    But Al Gore said we were going to Hell in a hand basket!

  • Ron

    How about 2008 hurricane IKE??? The article stated hurricane Wilma as the last major to make US landfall

    • Ted’s Victim

      Ike was a Category 2 storm at landfall…with a record storm surge that wiped out Point Bolivar.

  • Justanaveragejoeinmd

    What? This can’t be right. Al Gore told us we were only going to have more and more terrible storms, hurricanes and other calamities due to man made climate change, or is it global warming. Whatever. Your stats have to wrong!

    • Dave Kunkle

      Remember he also said the lower part of Florida would be underwater by 2016

    • Alfred Hussein Neuman

      Now Al says the absence of storms is evidence of Global warming, Eh, I mean climate change.

  • hiram floss

    since these facts don’t jibe with the “settled science” they are obviously RAAACIST!….

  • L K

    Holy AlGore! It’s the real “Inconvenient Truth”…and damn when the science is historical fact, not flawed/biased computer models…

  • Dave Kunkle

    Have no fear global warming supporters even know this is yet another blow to your propaganda the noaa will go in and change the data like they have already been caught doing

  • feellikeastranger

    Fake News … This obviously can’t be true since it goes against the settled science, therefore it is fake news, and should be criminalized using RICO laws.

  • Alfred Hussein Neuman

    Interesting, Al Gore said an increase in the number of tornados and hurricanes was evidence of MGW. Now he says the absence of an increase is evidence. Just like warmer temperatures and the pause, the melting iceshelves and the growth, etc.

    Either way he wins.

  • Dave Park

    Eventually the global warming lemmings will just say that EVERYTHING that happens out of doors is due to global warming.

    • littleroundtop

      Well, everything that happens outdoors is actually related to climate change, since it is constantly changing.

      • Joe_Keedoke

        Yeah! Thanks to those steel mills and coal generating electric plants belching out all that….oh, wait a minute..that was 60 years ago. (sorry, my bad)

  • 2ndprotectsall

    Darn that pesky global normal!

  • TMAC

    So will we see the MMGW idiots start slashing their wrists?
    I hope so.

  • Elaine Farrell

    Chalk one up for God… and a BIG loss for all the Climate change Alarmists !

  • outrider777

    But, but, but. Al Gorleone said that all this was going to get unbearably worse. How can this be?

  • JulietteofOhio

    How sad for Matt Damon. I’m sure he’d be delighted if the U.S. was devastated, and he could fly his private jet all over the world spewing about global warming. Al Gore has been awfully quiet. Is it possible he’s milked all the funds possible for this fake crisis?

  • thedude2009

    Time to sell your stock in hurricanes and tornadoes I see…

  • Jeffrey Gee

    Someone should make sure man-bear-pig (Al Gore) the UN and Obozo gets the memo!

    • BurkBurnett

      You guys need to stop making fun of Gore. Anyone who can leave a job 15 years ago with a net worth of $700,000 and today be worth over 100 Million is a smart …..whats the word I’m looking for ….con-artist?

  • slobotnavich

    This is a potential crisis. The current paucity of hurricanes, tornadoes, and other severe storms endangers the livelihoods of our Professional Alarmist Community (PAC). An unsubstantiated report that Joe Cantore of the Weather Channel was going to be let go appeared on Drudge yesterday. Cantore’s job required him to report from storm centers, being pelted with rain, wind, and occasional hail. Calls to the Weather Channel requesting confirmation have not been returned. Meanwhile, persistent rumors have surfaced that Cantore is in negotiation with the National Seismological Center for a new position as an Earthquake Hunter.

  • Fed Up

    So why do you sound so sad that it is quiet. I am sure all those that would be affected are ver happy. I am sick to death of hearing about climate change and global warming-biggest ponzi scheme ever.

  • j nolan

    Lets see .We went from Global Warming, to Climate Change,Now expect to see the Not Enough Storms meme! Anything for a buck!!

    • BurkBurnett

      I think the new title for the Tax…sorry weather situation is Man Made Global Weather. Covers all the bases.

    • Joe_Keedoke

      You forgot “global cooling” 40 years ago. 3M made a killing on adhesive plastic sheeting. I think 3M was the Solyndra of the seventies.

  • JuniataKid

    Yes but according to my models, in 50 years, there will be one major hurricane and six F5 tornadoes every day all year ’round in every state. We must act now. And by “act,” I mean raise taxes.

    • Joe_Keedoke

      And jack up electricity costs – anyway you can.

  • seanster5977

    Global Warming. Stop putting Ben-Gay on your scrotum and you can stop global warming all together.

  • sktuc

    To all you Global Warming Nuts I have a question, Do Farm Crops Grow Better in Warm Weather or Cold Weather ???????

    • Tom Hughes

      Dude, it’s all the weed being grown in the US that’s like sucking up all the extra CO2. Legal weed means lots of hungry bowls to fill! Climate change is solved!

  • Buddy

    Obama Proclaims Hurricanes to Increase ‘As Climate Continues to Warm’:

    Hillary blames Hurricane on climate change; says Trump ‘totally unfit’ to protect the USA from ‘the threat of climate change’ –

    Clinton-Gore Blame Sandy on Global Warming:

  • Mike

    What are the snowflakes and Lefties gonna do? Reality isn’t listening to their ‘settled science’.

  • Spunkstein

    A tornado and hurricane shortage brought on by western prosperity. 🙁

  • iisac Abraham

    The next term will be Isolated Global Climate Change. Or Unseasonable Global Event, or Man made secluded global warming maybe Contingent Affirmation ( that’s gotta means something)
    Perhaps they can run with Incarcerated Thermal Occurrence

    • JohnWolf

      very good

    • The Oatmeal Savage

      Climate Stagnation.
      Not enough climate change.

    • Pro 4X

      Check with your INGSOC representative for the proper Newsspeak terminology.

  • JohnWolf

    Global Warming – biggest Scam of the Century

    • BinRaleigh

      Last century also

  • JohnWolf

    Damn,, this Global Warming is cold

    • BinRaleigh

      Not for polar bears

  • JohnWolf

    Didn’t Gore promise, no more ice by 2013?

    Someone did not get the memo.
    We are at record levels

  • JohnWolf

    Global Warming People lie easily.

    Do not trust anything that Obama, Pelosi, Hillary, or Gore say from now on.

    They have been found to be wanting.

  • The Oatmeal Savage

    Bad day for the Global Cooling Deniers.

  • ROSS783027

    A relative pointed out that the beach in Ocean City, MD was disappearing were as before you had to walk about 1000 feet to get to the water. This was true back in the 1960’s and at that time they had special sand moving machines to move the sand back up onto the beach. I would bet they that was cut because of cost or to push the global warming agenda and that is why the beaches are disappearing. Please note that the astronomers found that the sun is putting out more energy because of the result of nuclear physics. The found that mars is getting hotter so there for the earth which is closer to the sun will get more heat. Also there are over 1200 active vulcano’s on the earth erupting 24/7 and that the surface of the earth rises and fall’s based on magma plums and plate tactonics. At the south pole that found that a vulcano under the ice was causing the ice in one of the glaciers to speed up on its way to the ocean and that is not global warming.

  • Bill In Montgomey

    Tell me again what exactly we are supposed to be terrified of because of climate change?

    • Pro 4X

      The inability to regulate all jobs out of America…..if we would just believe in it we could successfully send all of our jobs to china. Wouldn’t that be nice.

    • Joe_Keedoke

      Well, from what I’ve seen, inner cities have apparently become more terrifying. Maybe it’s the heat.

  • Sean

    The USA is not the Earth.

  • Ted’s Victim

    The climate is always changing. The land masses are in motion! Wasn’t Montana once a warm, subtropical swamp with lots of dinosaurs?

    Leftists proclaim that the climate is ‘changing unnaturally’ due to man’s influence. They propose to stop our unnatural influence over the climate using new, evasive forms of taxation and heavy-handed regulations.

    This is not only lunacy. It is also evil.
    It’s a good thing Leftists are out of power in less than 45 days.
    I hope they do not try to pull the rug out from under us with such a short time to significant “political change!”

  • cosmicwxdude

    What would algore do?

  • John Woodhar

    is this what lefties would consider “fake news”. lmao

  • Joe_E_in_the_IE

    Now we know why Al Gore is rolled up in a fetal position in the corner cryin’ his li’l eyes out.

  • James1754

    But, but , but……………….
    Everyone, including President Obama tells us that the storms are getting worse due to CLIMATE CHANGE(actually they are referring to Man Made Glob la Warming but found people do not like the term) so you must be mistaken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We now return you to the real world.

  • David Teglas

    the radical left will change the definition of a hurricane , it will be decreed that all tropical storms and depressions will be upgraded to hurricanes to fit global warming / climate change narrative

    • Joe_Keedoke

      It already has. This years map of TS & hurricanes (last years’ too) are proof. 1800 miles out from any land mass? Hey, babe, call it whatever you want. If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it… Just get upward in that alphabet, that’s your job!

  • Scott Frasier

    the libatards must be going crazy over this fake news event.

  • Pro 4X

    Shhh!, Al Gore is sleeping.

  • Ordinary American

    Can someone please explain why these “Experts” are unable to correctly forecast the weather but are so sure about “Global Warming”?

    • Pro 4X

      Easy your horizon for global warming and the calamitous results are so many decades out when the date passes and nothing happens they’ll say “our mitigation efforts saved the day.
      Whereas if the weatherman screws up this weekends weather he gets blasted immediately.

      • Ordinary American

        On a shorter time span like 1-3 months these wizard of weather still get the forecasts wrong. A weekend, a week, a month or several months they still get it wrong. And, there is a reason for that….The weather service is a Non-Prophet organization.

      • Ordinary American

        Then why are these “weather fakirs” given any credibility?

    • Dano2

      I’ll take those points on offer, thanks:

      o We can’t predict weather tomorrow, so nothing about climate is predictable [5 points]



  • Sam Huston

    The absence of liberalism is sanity.

    The word from people close to Hillary Clinton, is that she is heavily sedated, busy going over her Cabinet appointments from her hospital bed in a room of her house in Chappaqua that’s been mocked up to look like an exact replica of the Oval Office…..

  • rushevents

    But wasn’t this the hottest year on record (again?). According to the inconvenient truth hot temps=hurricane Katrina. Shouldn’t there have been Hurricanes like Thomas, Richard & Harry this year?

    I am so confused by these experts.

    • Dano2

      “Confused”, aye.



  • Bill

    Looks like comradegrandmuftihusseinobama has solved the Global Warming problem.

  • Old_Conservative

    The leftist weather forecasters were wrong, are wrong, and will always be wrong because they are fanatically tied to false information and fail to recognize reality! I’ve listened to their BS and ignored it simply because any weather related issues are out of my control (and therefore out of any control by we humans here on earth). We are better served to prepare for changes and not waste time and money on trying to stop them! God won’t like that! But wait…. they don’t believe in God!

    • Dano2

      The leftist weather forecasters

      Good comedy! I LOLzed!



  • Joe_Keedoke

    Most of those lines in the Atlantic were porpoises blowing farts. How else did they get to, what was it? M? As for tornadoes, like where? An outbreak of cold air funnels from Kokomo to Windsor, Ontario is the biggest event in like 5 years now. We took the Virgin Mary statue out of the backyard and put it on mom’s grave; and, we just skipped burying our old Palm Sunday palms the last couple years.

  • Dano2

    …and yet, the rest of the planet refutes poor hapless denialists.