It was another bad one, even if it maybe didn’t feel so bad from our local perspective.
The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season [ended] Tuesday with 21 named storms, four major hurricanes and a new addition to the list of costliest U.S. hurricanes.
Ida, which hit Louisiana on Aug. 29 as a Category 4 hurricane, is now the fifth-costliest storm on record since 1980, with $64.5 billion in damages. It follows Hurricane Katrina from 2005 at $178.8 billion (adjusted based on the 2021 Consumer Price Index), Harvey from 2017 at $138.8 billion, Maria from 2017 at $99.9 billion and Sandy from 2012 at $78.7 billion, according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information and the National Hurricane Center.
The 2021 hurricane season was the third-most-active year on record in terms of named storms — and it marked the first time that two consecutive hurricane seasons exhausted the list of 21 names. Last year had a record 30 named storms, which prompted the World Meteorological Organization to stop using the Greek alphabet for naming the additional storms. These letters had been designated for especially active seasons when the list of 21 pre-selected names was exhausted.
Of this year’s named storms, seven were hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or greater and four were major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater.
One storm directly affected the Houston area: Hurricane Nicholas made landfall Sept. 14 near the eastern part of Matagorda Peninsula. It did so as a Category 1 storm that brought wind gusts and power outages but it, for the most part, left Houston unscathed.
You can see the NOAA press release here. With everything else that’s been going on, I confess that I haven’t given much thought to hurricanes since mid-September, which is the usual point at which the local risk of a big storm declines significantly. We made it through another season more or less unscathed, which is not something many other folks can see. If we can continue to be this lucky for, oh, the next 20 years or so, we’ll probably be fine. If not, well, I’d rather not think about it right now.