Nov. 30 marks the official end of the 2007
Atlantic Hurricane season, which began June 1 with dire predictions
for a busy, destructive period but which turned out to be a milder
season than originally forecast for the U.S.
The same did not
hold true for parts of the Caribbean, Central American and Mexico,
although the 2007 season fell far short of the devastatingly
destructive record-setting 2005 season with 15 hurricanes that
careened across the Caribbean, Mexico, the U.S. Gulf Coast and
Florida carrying names such as Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
For 2007, the
weather experts, who had predicted 17 named storms, retreated to
their charts and analyses in mid-season and revised their numbers
This year brought
14 named storms, including six hurricanes, only one of which made
U.S. landfall. Humberto was a compact storm and came ashore in
September in a sparsely settled section of the Texas coast, causing
south, the 14 storms resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people
in Martinique, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba,
Nicaragua and Mexico.
Banana crops were
ruined, sugarcane fields were flooded, homes were swept away and
roads were rendered impassable.
Hurricane Dean made
it to the record books in August as the first hurricane of the 2007
season, the first Category 5 storm (winds above 156 mph) to make
landfall since Hurricane Andrew slammed south Florida in 1992 and
the storm with the third lowest barometric pressure readings since
record keeping began in the 1930s.
Dean also caused
the postponement of the national elections in Jamaica, which had
been set for Aug. 27, and destroyed a cruise ship pier in
the second Category 5 storm this season, soaked much of the
Caribbean and pummeled the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras,
killing 102 in its wake.
Noel in early
November, and the last storm of the season (it reached minimal
hurricane status before dissipating), soaked parts of the
Caribbean, triggering landslides, mudslides, evacuations and a
death toll of more than 150 as rivers broke their banks and surged
through towns, according to officials in Haiti, the Dominican
Republic and Cuba. Major tourist areas were not
head of the Colorado State University hurricane forecast team, said
that vertical wind shears and cooler sea temperatures accounted for
the lower-than-predicted number of hurricanes.
No one is
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].