The 2017 hurricane season was way worse than expected.
From the Hurricane Center, it was near the top when it comes to energy produced by Tropical Storms.
"ACE" stands for Accumulated Cyclone Energy and is a good measure of the ENERGY of a tropical storm or hurricane.
That's in stark contrast to the pre-season forecast of a developing El Niño that would make 2017 a weak year. But the El Niño never really developed, and the season was brutal.
Four storms stood out this year:
HARVEY stalled over Texas and Louisiana, producing record flooding and widespread 40-60" of rain.
That was just the beginning.
Next came Irma. Although it weakened before landfall, it devastated parts of Florida, including the keys. And if not for a fortuitous turn inland over the Everglades, Tampa and the east coast of Florida could have gotten a worst-case scenario.
Still, Irma laid waste to many islands in the Caribbean. Some are barely inhabitable today.
The train kept rolling. Maria not only decimated Puerto Rico but completely ruined infrastructure in the United States Virgin Islands.
Puerto Rico's power and water is still not fully restored and people who live in the USVI are still desperately in need of help.
But check out the season on a map and train your eyes on Virginia.
The Commonwealth escaped the deadly hurricane season without any significant impact.
Good riddance to 2017. On to 2018.
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