As of late summer 2010, the only similarity between the 2005 and 2010 hurricane seasons is that both included named storms. In 2005 storms began appearing in late spring and the season was active in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. In contrast, the 2010 hurricane season has been relatively calm with only three named storms as of early August.
Unlike in the year 2005, none of the 2010 storms of the Atlantic hurricane season have directly impacted the United States. Nonetheless, residents on the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida keep a constant ear out for the latest on hurricane activity.
The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Arlene, occurred in June of 2005. It was then followed by twenty-seven named storms, fifteen of which developed to hurricane strength. The final storm of the season, Zeta, developed in late December, exactly one month after the official end (November 30) of hurricane season. Zeta’s appearance further extended the season into the beginning of January.
Alex, the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, similarly occurred in June, followed by Bonnie and Colin in August. Both seasons had brought storms with B-letter names by July, but that is where the similarities end. In the 2005 season there had already been ten named storms by the time Katrina struck on August 29. Tropical storm Cindy, which had caused so much wind damage and widespread power outages in July, was later reassessed and upgraded to hurricane status.
There were so many storms in 2005 that the National Hurricane Center had to use a secondary set of names for them. The total damage from hurricanes in 2005 was estimated to be well over one billion with more than half of that having come from the destruction caused by Katrina alone.
One other dissimilarity between the two hurricane seasons is in the presence of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The emergence of Alex delayed the clean up of the BP spill and then it was further inhibited when Bonnie formed and the area around the well had to be evacuated. The threat of unrefined oil making it onto shore was one thing that fortunately hadn’t had to be faced in 2005.
While the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season still has plenty of time left to wreak havoc on areas that are still trying to rebuild from damage incurred during the 2005 season, there is almost no similarity between the storm activity for the two years.