Onshore hurricanes in a slump

Record-breaking nine years have elapsed since last Category 3 or stronger hurricane made landfall in the United States.

Hurrican Wilma in Florida

LACKING LANDFALLS  The last time a major hurricane made landfall in the United States was 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, shown hitting Naples, Fla. Such a long gap is incredibly rare, new research shows.

Julie Jacobson/AP Photo

No major hurricanes have slammed into the coast of the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The gap in these hurricanes making landfall is the longest in recorded history and is incredibly rare, researchers report.

Many hurricanes in recent years have reached Category 3 or above while out to sea, but they’ve all fizzled into weaker storms before coming ashore. The landfall drought is probably a temporary run of good luck rather than a climate shift. The researchers estimate that there’s a 61 percent chance the drought will continue through this year.

More Stories from Science News on Climate