Hurricane season for the Atlantic basin begins June 1. On average one tropical storm forms every other year during that first month. This year, 2011, was one of those years. Tropical Storm Arlene formed June 29 and made landfall along the coast of Mexico June 30.
Three named storms formed in July – well above the long-term average of one.
Tropical Storm Bret formed July 17 off the eastern coast of Florida. The storm never came close to land, tracking north and east before disintegrating over the Atlantic Ocean July 22.
Tropical Storm Cindy from July 20 well offshore in the eastern Atlantic and was never a threat to land. It became a post-tropical storm on July 23.
Tropical Storm Don formed July 27 about 190 miles north of Cozumel Mexico. It fell apart as it came ashore the coast of Texas near Baffin Bay July 29.
August was the busiest month with a tropical depression and seven named storms, including Irene, which became the season’s first hurricane and first major hurricane.
Emily formed Aug. 1 about 50 miles west-southwest of Dominica. The storm degenerated into a tropical low Aug. 4.
Tropical Storm Franklin formed about 460 miles north-northeast of Bermuda early in the morning of Aug. 13. By end of day, the NHC announced it had lost its tropical characteristics. It was never a threat to land, remaining over the northern Atlantic Ocean.
Tropical Storm Gert formed Aug. 14 about 275 miles south-southeast of Bermuda. Two days later, Gert had degenerated into a post-tropical low.
Tropical storm Harvey formed Friday, Aug. 19, about 285 miles east-southeast of Belize City and made landfall near Dangriga Town Belize on Saturday afternoon. Maximum sustained winds were 40 mph.
Hurricane Irene formed Aug. 20 east of the Leeward Islands about 190 miles east of Dominica. Irene was the ninth named storm of the season and the first hurricane and major hurricane. It is the first to hit the United States since 2008.
Irene made landfall twice along the U.S. East Coast - first in North Carolina on Aug. 27 and again the next day in New Jersey. Irene is blamed for as many as 55 deaths and billions of dollars in damage.
Tropical Storm Jose formed Aug. 28 in the eastern Atlantic while Irene was making its way along the Atlantic Seaboard. Jose skirted to the west of Bermuda before heading off into the open waters.
Katia formed Aug. 29 about 535 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. The NHC tracked its path until Sept. 10 when it went post-tropical about 295 miles east-southeast of Cape Race Newfoundland. Katia was the second hurricane and second major hurricane of the season. It followed a similar path to Irene, only remaining offshore, traveling through the Atlantic between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda.
Tropical Storm Lee formed Sept. 2 south of Louisiana and made landfall over south-central Louisiana Sept. 4. Lee created problems for residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle over the Labor Day weekend before moving on to bring rain and winds to residents still cleaning up from Hurricane Irene. The red flags waved on Pinellas County beaches due to rip current dangers as Lee kicked up large waves in the Gulf of Mexico. Lee was the first tropical storm to made landfall in Louisiana since Hurricane Gustav in 2008.
Maria began as Tropical Depression 14 the afternoon of Sept. 6 and became a tropical storm on Sept. 7. It was located about 1,220 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Maria followed a similar path to Hurricane Katia, moving offshore the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda. It became a hurricane on Sept. 15 and was a post-tropical cyclone by Sept. 16.
Nate, the 14th named storm, formed Sept. 7 in the Bay Campeche. Nate made landfall Sept. 11 along the coast of Mexico just north of Barra de Nautla.
Two storms are active now: Ophelia, which formed Sept. 20 in the central tropical Atlantic and degenerated into a remnant low on Sept 25, is now the fourth hurricane of the season, and Philippe – the season’s 16th named storm, which formed Sept. 24.
The last five names on the 2011 list are Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney
Hurricane season ends officially on Nov. 30.