NOAA: Record 121 Months Since Last Major Hurricane Hit U.S.

Barbara Hollingsworth | November 24, 2015 | 12:08pm EST
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Satellite image of Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. (NASA)

( – It has now been a record 121 months since the last major hurricane made landfall in the continental United States, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) statistics.

The last major hurricane to make landfall on the continental United States was Hurricane Wilma, which slammed into Florida on October 24, 2005.

NOAA's Hurricane Research Division has published data on the hurricanes that have struck the U.S. going back to 1851.

Hurricane season will officially end on November 30.

President Obama is the longest-serving president during the period for which NOAA has data to have no major hurricane strike during his time in office.

Since 1851, only four other chief executives had no major hurricanes strike the U.S. during their presidencies: Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865); Andrew Johnson (1865-1869); James Garfield (who served only six months prior to his assassination in 1881); and Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893). None of these presidents were in office as long as Obama.

Source: NOAA

NOAA defines a major hurricane as one that is Category 3 or higher. According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, Category 3 hurricanes have sustained wind speeds of more than 111 miles per hour and are capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

In 2005, three major hurricanes – Katrina, Rita, and Wilma – struck the mainland of the United States, killing nearly 4,000 people and causing nearly $160 billion in damages, according to NOAA.

Since then no Category 3 or above hurricane has made landfall on the continental United States.

During Obama's presidency, four hurricanes have made landfall at lower than Category 3 intensity. Irene (2011), Isaac and Sandy (2012) were all Category 1 when the hit the mainland, and Arthur (2014) was a Category 2.

Related: New NOAA Record: 10 Years Since Major Hurricane Has Struck US

Related: Obama: First President in 122 Years Without a Major Hurricane During His Term

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