10-year period is longest recorded without landfall in U.S. by a major hurricane

10-year period is longest recorded without landfall in U.S. by a major hurricane
Taken? New Orleans after Katrina, 2005. (Image: AP via CBS 5 New Orleans)

No “major” hurricane–defined as a Category 3 or above–has made landfall on the continental United States since 2005, according to records compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division.

That is the longest stretch of time the United States has gone without a Category 3 or above hurricane striking somewhere on the mainland of the country, according to NOAA hurricane records going back to 1851. …

Prior to the current pause in major hurricanes striking the U.S. mainland, the longest pause had been the eight years between 1860 and 1869—146 years ago. NOAA has published its calculation of the categories of all hurricanes striking the U.S. going back to 1851. …

The last major hurricane to strike the U.S. “was Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 over Southwest Florida,” the Census Bureau said.

In 2005, according to NOAA, a greater number of major hurricanes struck the U.S. mainland than any year on record. That year, four Category 3 storms hit the U.S.: Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

Sometimes major hurricanes–such as Ike in 2008–are Category 3 or higher before they strike the U.S. mainland, but then they diminish to a lower category of storm before they do strike.

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