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2007 Hurricane Season recap

The last official day of hurricane season is November 30, but let's face it, the season is over. It was a quiet season here in southeastern North Carolina, but it was anything but quiet for some folks. The first official day of hurricane season is June 1. This year, however, the season got off to an early start. Subtropical Storm Andrea developed off the southeast coast in early May and was the first May cyclone to form since 1981. At the end of May, there was Barry. This tropical storm was short-lived, but brought beneficial rains to Florida. Tropical Storm Chantal was only around for a brief time and never affected the US. Hurricane Dean was a storm to remember though. Dean was the first category five hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic basin in 15 years. The storm took a west-northwest path through the Caribbean Sea and passed just south of Jamaica. The system then made two landfalls, the first in the Yucatan and the second in Mexico. This storm was responsible for over 40 deaths and close to 2 billion dollars in damage. Tropical Storm Erin was next. This was the second tropical cyclone to make landfall in the United States this season. It formed in the Gulf of Mexico, and a day later developed into a tropical storm. Erin made landfall in Texas and then made its way northward into Oklahoma. The storm resulted in at least 18 fatalities and worsened an already-severe flooding problem in Texas. Next was Felix, another devastating hurricane. It was the second Category 5 hurricane of the 2007 hurricane season. It started as a tropical wave and 2 days later had developed into a major hurricane. Felix made landfall just south of the border between Nicaragua and Honduras and caused at least 133 deaths. Tropical Storm Gabrielle may ring a bell, because it skimmed our shores. The system only brought us about a quarter of an inch of rain at the most and breezy conditions. Some areas of Onslow County received up to an inch of rain and they received even more rain up around Cape Hatteras. Gabrielle made landfall along the Cape Lookout National Seashore before exiting the coast less than 12 hours later near Kill Devil Hills. Hurricane Humberto only impacted extreme southeastern Texas, where it made landfall as a strong category 1 hurricane, which means winds around 90 mph. The reason this system was so interesting was that it went from a tropical depression to a hurricane in 19 hours. Tropical Depression Ten was a short-lived cyclone that formed over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the next day made landfall along the Florida panhandle. Average rainfall totals with this system were around an inch. Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Melissa and Tropical Depression 15 never affected land, but Hurricane Lorenzo made landfall in Mexico, in practically the same location as Hurricane Dean one month earlier. Last, but not least is Hurricane Noel. It made landfall in Haiti and then meandered across the western Caribbean near Cuba bringing torrential rain to the region. It became a hurricane after passing through the Bahamas. This system never affected the US. Just to sum everything up, there were 16 storms this hurricane season: one subtropical storm, six hurricanes, seven tropical storms and two tropical depressions. NOAA's outlook for this season was actually pretty close. There were fourteen names storms as predicted, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

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