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Hurricanes: What you don't know
01:26 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Here is a look at the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season.


The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season ran from June 1 to November 30. The areas covered include the North Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as “an intense tropical weather system with well-defined circulation and sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

Hurricanes are rated according to intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The 1-5 scale estimates potential property damage.

A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness:

A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.

A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours.


April 14, 2016 - The Tropical Meteorology Project from Colorado State University predicts that the “2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have approximately average activity.” They predict a total of 13 named storms and six hurricanes.

May 27, 2016 - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts a near-normal hurricane season, predicting that there is a 70% chance of having 10 to 16 named storms, of which four to eight could develop into hurricanes, including one to four major hurricanes (categories 3-5).

2016 Atlantic Storm Names

Hurricane Alex
January 14, 2016 - Subtropical Storm Alex develops into a hurricane, the first hurricane to form in January since 1938.
January 15, 2016 - Weakens to a post-tropical cyclone.

Tropical Storm Bonnie
May 28, 2016 - Tropical Storm Bonnie develops about 120 miles southeast of South Carolina.
May 29, 2016 - Downgraded to a tropical depression before making landfall near Charleston, South Carolina.

Tropical Storm Colin
June 5, 2016 - Tropical Storm Colin forms near the Yucatan peninsula.
June 7, 2016 - Makes landfall in Florida, bringing heavy rains, a day after Governor Rick Scott declares a state of emergency. It is the earliest in a season that three named storms have hit the region, beating the last record - set in 1887 - by about a week.

Tropical Storm Danielle
June 20, 2016 - Tropical Storm Danielle forms in the Bay of Campeche, and later makes landfall north of Tuxpan, Mexico. Danielle is the earliest fourth-named Atlantic storm on record.
June 21, 2016 - Dissipates over east-central Mexico.

Hurricane Earl
August 2, 2016 - Tropical Storm Earl forms.
August 3, 2016 - Earl becomes a Category 1 hurricane about 150 miles east of Belize City.
August 4, 2016 - Earl makes landfall near Belize City. Later in the day, Earl weakens to a tropical storm.
August 6-8, 2016 - At least forty people are killed when heavy rains, due to Tropical Storm Earl, trigger landslides in eastern Mexico.

Tropical Storm Fiona
August 18, 2016 - Tropical Storm Fiona forms over the central Atlantic.
August 21, 2016 - Weakens to a tropical depression without making landfall.

Hurricane Gaston
August 22, 2016 - Tropical Storm Gaston forms about 450 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.
August 25, 2016 - Gaston becomes a Category 1 hurricane and later weakens to a tropical storm.
August 27, 2016 - Gaston strengthens back into a Category 1 hurricane about 655 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.
August 28, 2016 - Intensifies into a Category 3 hurricane.
September 2, 2016 - Weakens to a tropical storm.
September 3, 2016 - Becomes a tropical depression about 120 miles north-northwest of the central Azores.

Hurricane Hermine
August 31, 2016 - Tropical Storm Hermine forms about 395 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida.
September 1, 2016 - Strengthens to a hurricane.
September 2, 2016 - Hermine makes landfall east of St. Marks, Florida. At least one man is killed during the storm when he is struck by a tree in Marion County. Hermine weakens to a tropical storm later in the day.
September 3, 2016 - One person dies when a tractor-trailer overturns while crossing a bridge in eastern North Carolina amid high winds from Hermine.

Tropical Storm Ian
September 12, 2016 - Tropical Storm Ian forms over the central Atlantic Ocean.
September 16, 2016 - Weakens to a post-tropical cyclone.

Tropical Storm Julia
September 13, 2016 - Tropical Storm Julia forms over the northeastern coast of Florida.
September 16, 2016 - Weakens to a tropical depression off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina.

Tropical Storm Karl
September 15, 2016 - Tropical Storm Karl forms over the far eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean.
September 25, 2016 - Weakens to a post-tropical cyclone over the north Atlantic Ocean.

Tropical Storm Lisa
September 20, 2016 - Tropical Storm Lisa forms over the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean.
September 24, 2016 - Weakens to a tropical depression.

Hurricane Matthew
September 28, 2016 - Tropical Storm Matthew forms over the Windward Islands.
September 29, 2016 - Strengthens to a hurricane.
September 30, 2016 - Matthew intensifies to a Category 5 hurricane throughout the day.
October 1, 2016 - Weakens to a Category 4 hurricane.
October 4, 2016 - Matthew makes landfall in Haiti as a Category 4 hurricane, tearing through the small Caribbean nation with 125 mph (200 kph) winds and heavy rains that flood villages, raze crops, sweep away cattle and cut off parts of the island. The official death toll is more than 546, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection Service, but that number is expected to rise. Four deaths are reported in the Dominican Republic, according to the country’s government.
The World Health Organization later commits to sending a million cholera vaccine doses to Haiti, amid concerns over the rising number of cases in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and its ensuing humanitarian crisis.
October 7-8, 2016 - Hurricane Matthew hits Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, leading to record-breaking flooding and millions of power outages. At least 45 US deaths are blamed on Matthew: 25 in North Carolina, 13 in Florida, four in South Carolina and three in Georgia.
October 9, 2016 - Matthew weakens to a post-tropical cyclone.

Hurricane Nicole
October 4, 2016 - Tropical Storm Nicole forms about 525 miles northeast of Puerto Rico.
October 6, 2016 - Nicole strengthens to a hurricane and strengthens to a Category 2 hurricane later in the day.
October 7, 2016 - Weakens to a tropical storm.
October 11, 2016 - Nicole strengthens back into a hurricane about 355 miles south-southwest of Bermuda.
October 12, 2016 - Intensifies to a Category 4 hurricane.
October 13, 2016 - Nicole hits Bermuda as a Category 3 hurricane, but no deaths are reported.
October 14, 2016 - Weakens to a tropical storm.
October 15, 2016 - Strengthens back into a hurricane about 550 miles south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.
October 17, 2016 - Returns to tropical storm status east of Newfoundland.
October 18, 2016 - Becomes a post-tropical cyclone.

Hurricane Otto
November 21, 2016 - Tropical Storm Otto forms about 175 miles east-southeast of San Andres Island.
November 22, 2016 - Otto strengthens to a hurricane about 235 miles east of Limon, Costa Rica.
November 24-25, 2016 - Otto makes landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 2 hurricane. It is later downgraded to a tropical storm and moves west out over the Pacific Ocean. At least 13 people are killed along the storm’s path through Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica. Otto’s landfall location is the farthest south on record that a hurricane has hit in Central America.