CNSNews.com) – No major hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States for a record-breaking 129 months, according to data going back to 1851 compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The last major hurricane to make landfall on the continental United States was Hurricane Wilma, which slammed into Florida on Oct. 24, 2005–129 months ago.
The 2016 hurricane season–which officially opened on June 1 and ends on November 30–is expected to be “near normal”, with more hurricane activity than last year’s “below normal” season.
“The outlook calls for a 45% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season, and a 25% chance of a below-normal season,” according to NOAA’s 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.
The agency predicts that there will be “10-16 named storms” this season–including “4-8 hurricanes” and “1-4 major hurricanes.” A “major hurricane” is defined as one that is Category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which means it has sustained wind speeds of more than 111 miles per hour and is capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.
But because of several “competing climate factors” this year, “there is reduced confidence in predicting whether the season will be above normal or below normal,” NOAA stated.
At a May 27 press conference, NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan told reporters that due to the cooling phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO), there is “uncertainty about whether the high-activity era of Atlantic hurricanes has ended.”