2018 Atlantic hurricane season: The year of Florence and Michael

15 named storms and 8 hurricanes

2018 Atlantic hurricane season: The year of Florence and Michael
There were 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes in 2018.

(RNN) – The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will officially go in the books as being a bit “above normal.”

Of course, if a hurricane hit where you live, it was far from an average year. Just ask the folks in the Florida panhandle and the Carolinas.

With its 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes, 2018 matched the early predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

There were 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes in 2018.
There were 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes in 2018. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce and National Weather Service)

The agency forecast 10 to 16 named storms, including five to nine hurricanes, and one to four major hurricanes with Category 3 strength or higher, back in May before the season started.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

An average six-month Atlantic season typically produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes. including three major hurricanes.

The 2018 season was defined by two powerful storms that formed in its second half - Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

Florence got its start on Sept. 1 as a tropical storm that formed just off the coast of West Africa.

On its nearly two-week trek across the Atlantic, Florence strengthened to a Category 4 storm before making landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC, as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.

The rain from the system soaked the region, dumping nearly 40 inches of rain in Elizabethtown, NC, causing widespread flooding that took weeks to recede.

At least 55 deaths were attributed to the storm. Property damage and economic losses in North and South Carolina approached $18 billion.

Hurricane Michael took a different path, forming Oct. 7 near the Yucatan Peninsula, where the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico meet.

Four days later, Michael made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in the Florida Panhandle.

The storm’s 155 mph winds made Michael the strongest storm to hit the continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

More than one million people, across four states, were left without power due to Michael.

The storm killed at least 43 people in Florida and 10 more in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Of those, 21 were in Florida’s Bay County, where the hurricane made landfall, nearly wiping out Mexico Beach.

Michael caused more than $14 billion in damages.

FILE - This Oct. 12, 2018 aerial file photo shows devastation from Hurricane Michael over Mexico Beach, Fla. A massive new federal report warns that extreme weather disasters, like California’s wildfires and 2018’s hurricanes, are worsening in the United States. The White House report quietly issued Friday, Nov. 23 also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE - This Oct. 12, 2018 aerial file photo shows devastation from Hurricane Michael over Mexico Beach, Fla. A massive new federal report warns that extreme weather disasters, like California’s wildfires and 2018’s hurricanes, are worsening in the United States. The White House report quietly issued Friday, Nov. 23 also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) (AP)

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