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U.S. experiencing historic drought in major hurricanes

It’s been 3,963 days since the continental United States has taken a hit from a major hurricane. This drought has been ongoing since Hurricane Wilma made landfall October 24, 2005. This drought shatters the previous record set in 1860-1869 by nearly two years.

But that doesn’t mean the United States isn’t prone to another hurricane. Many experts say that the country has just been lucky since 2005.

Within the historic drought, there have been numerous storms that formed and some even made landfall, but those that did just weren’t strong enough to receive the tag major hurricane.

Lately, eyes have been on the Atlantic, due in large part to Tropical Depression 9. It’s a storm that has been poorly organized from the start, yet has received national attention.

It’s this attention that has caused panic in some parts of the United States and rightfully so, as the most intense hurricanes often make landfall from mid-August to early September.

Nearly 11 years have passed since the 2005 hurricane season came to a close, and some parts of the country are becoming complacent even as peak hurricane season is in full force.

One professor at the University of Missouri says that the further we get from the last major hurricane to make landfall, the closer we are to the next hit.

“We’ve just had very good luck in not having any hurricanes hitting the United States,” said Professor Anthony Lupo, who teaches meteorology at the university. He says this luck is something that happened just by chance.

“The 11-year drought may be a function of patterns that have set up that allow hurricanes to recurve away from the United States,” Lupo said.

This recurve is something that’s happened with every major hurricane we’ve seen develop over the last decade.

Lupo says this hurricane drought makes such storms less of a priority for some people and they tend to forget about preparations.

“When we talk about hurricanes hitting the United States, it only takes one to be a problem,” Lupo said. “We can see that back in 1992, which was a very quiet hurricane season, but also produced Hurricane Andrew.”

As Labor Day approaches, Tropical Depression 9 continues to gain attention around the nation, but those watching should be wary of inaccurate information. The peak of hurricane season can bring bad information swirling across social media. Lupo and other experts suggest that you find a credible source when trying to understand these storms.

Here in mid-Missouri, Lupo says we are seeing effects of the historic drought.

Typically hurricanes that strike the Gulf Coast states bring ample amounts of rain to the region as they track inland, but as the drought continues to grow we rely on other weather patterns to bring rain. As for the Gulf of Mexico, there is a lot of untapped energy within the water, as it’s been well over 1,000 days since the last storm entered or developed in the warm waters.

This is a stretch unheard of, and it breaks the record set in 1886.

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