Hurricane season is over, but the impact of storms remains
The end of November marks the end of hurricane season, and 2018 was a significant year for the Southeast coast in terms of damage and impact from large storms.
Traditionally, hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30, when warmer water conditions become conducive for tropical system development.
The 2018 season was the fourth year in a row in which hurricane activity began prior to the official start of the season, with Tropical Storm Alberto forming on May 25.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2018 was a record-breaking season for hurricane activity, with more subtropical storms forming than ever before. The season was also classified as “above-average” in terms of overall activity by NOAA, following predictions made by scientists earlier this year.
In all, there were 15 named storms in the 2018 season, eight of which became hurricanes.
The most destructive storms for the U.S. by far were Hurricane Florence, a Category 1 storm, and Hurricane Michael, a Category 4.
Hurricane Florence was a slow-moving giant that caused fears and mandatory evacuations across most of the Southeast coast as it crawled westward, bringing catastrophic flooding to parts of the Carolinas.
Hurricane Michael, conversely, experienced an explosive increase in strength as it went from a Category 1 to a Category 4 before slamming into the Florida panhandle and tearing into Georgia and South Carolina as one of the strongest storms on record.
Michael blew over Aiken as a tropical storm, bringing windy gusts and rain to the area. The storm brought down a few large trees near roadways in Aiken and caused thousands of power outages across South Carolina.
Billions of dollars of damage was left in the wake of these storms, but NOAA remains confident that advances in technology will allow the study of these storms and their patterns to advance, which will help better prepare everyone for the start of hurricane season next June.