Florida escapes relatively unscathed as hurricane season comes to an end

The tropics remained quiet in the days leading up to Tuesday – the last day of hurricane season.

This was the second consecutive year that the Atlantic hurricane season exhausted its list of storm names. Wanda formed and faded weeks ago. This year, a new supplemental names list was created to replace the Greek alphabet names that were previously used. 

In total, the season generated 21 named storms, which is the third most for any Atlantic hurricane season. In 2020, there was a record 30 named storms and in 2005 there were 28.

This year, Ana formed first on May 22, This was the seventh year in a row that a tropical or subtropical system formed before June 1, the first day of hurricane season.

CEDAR KEY, FL - JULY 07: Tropical Storm Elsa makes landfall on July 7, 2021 in Cedar Key, Florida. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

READ: No more Greek letters: Here’s what will happen when we run out of hurricane names this time

Eight of this year’s storms made U.S. landfall in 2021:

  • Claudette formed in the days leading up to Father's Day weekend. On June 19, it made landfall in Louisiana, bringing heavy rains and winds across parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.
  • Danny made landfall near Hilton Head, South Carolina, on June 28.
  • Elsa became the earliest fifth-named storm on record. It weakened after making landfall in Taylor County, Florida, on July 7.
  • Fred made landfall near Cape San Blas in the Panhandle with maximum sustained winds around 65 mph on August 16.
  • Henri strengthened to become a hurricane and made landfall on August 22 in Rhode Island. It rapidly weakened after.
  • Ida became a hurricane before making landfall in Cuba twice on August 27. It became a Category 4 storm before making landfall in Louisiana two days later. It was the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Mindy made landfall in the Florida Panhandle’s St. Vincent Island on Sept. 9.
  • Nicholas reached hurricane status before making landfall south of Houston, Texas, on Sept. 14.

Florida remained relatively unscathed during the storm season and had brushes with only three named systems: Elsa, Fred, and Mindy. They were mostly rainmakers with tropical-storm-force winds.

"We're still working Hurricane Michael. We're still working Hurricane Irma, Matthew, Hermine, Dorian, and so on," Kevin Guthrie, director of the state Division of Emergency Management, previously told News Service of Florida. "So, yeah, it was good for us to be able to work on some of those past disasters and get them working towards closing out."

MORE: 'Once in a lifetime' 1921 hurricane shows devastation Category 3 storm could have on Tampa Bay

This year was the sixth consecutive above-average storm season and came after Florida suffered historic strikes from Irma in 2017 and Michael in 2018. But this year is essentially the third consecutive season without a hurricane directly causing massive damage to Florida.

A satellite image of Elsa on July 6, 2021.

"It only takes one big storm to cause problems in the state of Florida," Guthrie said. "This is not going to be the norm. We are Florida. We get hit by hurricanes. It is going to happen."

The News Service of Florida contributed to this article