Another day, another U.S. landfalling tropical cyclone. This time, it was Hurricane Nicholas in Texas.
Nicholas made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph about 12:30 a.m. Central time Tuesday on the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula, some 10 miles west-southwest of Sargent Beach, Texas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
This was the 19th named storm (tropical storm or hurricane) to make landfall in the U.S. in the last 17 months. The 1950-2020 annual average for U.S. named-storm landfalls is three, according to Bob Henson, a meteorologist and science writer at Yale Climate Connections.
Tropical Storm Bertha kicked things off May 27, 2020, when it made landfall near the Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Four other tropical storms also moved ashore in the U.S. later that year.
Additionally, six hurricanes – Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Sally, Delta and Zeta – made landfall in the continental U.S. during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, resulting in a record 11 tropical storm or hurricane landfalls in a single season.
Hurricane Laura had its name retired from future use in the Atlantic. At Category 4 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, Laura was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in southwestern Louisiana since records began in 1851, according to the National Weather Service office in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Now, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is trying to keep on pace with 2020.
Including Nicholas, eight named storms have already made a U.S. landfall this year, with 2.5 months of hurricane season still remaining (the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30).
Most notably, Hurricane Ida crashed ashore in Louisiana on Aug. 29 with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Preliminary reports suggest Ida was tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in the continental U.S. in terms of maximum wind speeds. The storm also brought tremendous storm-surge and rainfall flooding along the northern Gulf Coast, then went on to produce catastrophic flooding and several tornadoes in parts of the mid-Atlantic.
The Gulf Coast has taken the brunt of the tropical cyclones over the last 17 months. Fourteen of the 19 named storms made landfall between Texas and Florida, while the other five struck portions of the East Coast.