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Posted at 07:30 PM ET, 10/25/2010

Is a hurricane shield protecting the U.S. coast?

* PM Update: Muggy with a few showers | Richard's troubles *

Ten hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic basin this season, but none have made landfall in the U.S. As it turns out, this is pretty unusual.

U.S. Dr. Adam Lea, a researcher at the University College London Department of Space and Climate Physics, posted some fascinating statistics relating to this fact on a hurricane research list-serv. Here they are, reprinted with his permission:

1. Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with 10 or more hurricanes where none has struck the U.S. as a hurricane. The five previous seasons with 10 or more hurricanes each had at least two hurricane strikes on the U.S.

2. The last precedent for a La Nina year of the magnitude of 2010 which had no U.S.-landfalling hurricane is 1973.

3. Since hurricane Ike (2008) there have been 16 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes. Such a sequence last happened between Irene (1999) and Lili (2002) with 22 consecutive non U.S.-landfalling hurricanes, and between Allen (1980) and Alicia (1983) with 17 consecutive non U.S.-landfalling hurricanes.

4. The period 2006-2010 is one of only three 5-year consecutive periods without a U.S. major hurricane landfall (the other two such periods were 1901-1905 and 1936-1940). There has never been a six year period without a US major hurricane landfall.

5. Historically one in four Atlantic hurricanes strike the US as a hurricane. Thus the recent dearth in strikes should be 'corrected' in the next few years.

By  |  07:30 PM ET, 10/25/2010

Categories:  Tropical Weather

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