Stormy Weather

Hurricanes, Monsoons, and Tropical Storms

What was the 2008 hurricane season like?

After a two-year lull in 2006 and 2007, 2008 came roaring back as one of the strongest hurricane seasons on record. Although there were no Category 5 hurricanes, there were two Category 4s (Ike and Gustav) and three Category 3s (Bertha, Omar, and Paloma). Neither Ike nor Gustav made landfall in the United States as Category 5s, but a weakened Hurricane Gustav caused tremendous destruction in Galveston, Texas. About 1,000 deaths resulted from eight hurricanes, five of which were classified as major (Category 3 or 4). There were also eight strong tropical storms that did not develop into hurricanes. Despite lacking a category five storm, the 2008 season broke the record for most months with a major hurricane, with five months including such major storms: July (Bertha), August (Gustav), September (Ike), October (Omar), and November (Paloma). Of these hurricanes, Gustav was the worst for Americans. Galveston had to be evacuated because of a huge storm surge and waves reaching an incredible 50 feet (15 meters); many people lost their homes.


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