The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season which ends today was one of the busiest on record, but a ‘gentle giant’ for the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA reminds us that the extremely active season saw a total of 19 named storms – which ties 2010 with 1887 and 1995 for third place for most number of named storms in a season.

Of those, 12 became hurricanes – tying 2010 with 1969 in second place for the highest number of hurricanes in a season. Five of those reached major hurricane status of Category 3 or higher.

A key takeaway of the 2010 season is that none of the 12 hurricanes in the Atlantic struck the U.S.

Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with 10 or more hurricanes where none struck the U.S., according to Dr. Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog.

In fact, Dr. Masters observes that the 11 previous seasons with 10 or more hurricanes – 1870, 1878, 1886, 1893, 1916, 1933, 1950, 1969, 1995, 1998, and 2005 – each had at least two hurricane strikes on the U.S.:

To me, this year is most memorable for what didn’t happen – we did not get a full fledged hurricane rip through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nor did a devastating hurricane cause massive loss of life in Haiti’s vulnerable earthquake zone.

However, two hurricanes from this year are virtually certain to get their names retired – Tomas and Igor – and two other storms that did billions of damage to Mexico, Karl and Alex, are likely to have their names retired as well.

Here’s Wunderblog’s visual of the 2010 season:

AtlHurr2010

 

 

A USA Today article has more on this story. Check out I.I.I. hurricane facts and stats.