As the 2010 hurricane season (with 10 hurricanes) starts to wind down I thought I would share a few statistics on how unusual this season has been historically for its lack of US hurricane landfalls:
1. Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with 10 or more hurricanes where none has struck the US as a hurricane. The five previous seasons with 10 or more hurricanes each had at least two hurricane strikes on the US.
2. The last precedent for a La Nina year of the magnitude of 2010 which had no US-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 US-landfalling hurricanes, and between Allen (1980) and Alicia (1983) with 17 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes.
4. The period 2006-2010 is one of only three 5-year consecutive periods without a US 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.