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John Wheeler: This season's Atlantic hurricane statistics are average, and also much worse

The Accumulated Cyclone Energy index this season was 22% lower than average.

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FARGO — The Atlantic Basin tropical storm and hurricane season has finally wound down. The basic statistics: 14 storms, eight hurricanes and three Category 3 or stronger hurricanes, are spot-on average over the last 30 years. Another measure, the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index this season was 22% lower than average. However, more important is the fact that Hurricane Ian caused more than $50 billion in damage and killed at least 150 people by delivering its worst to the heavily populated area around Fort Myers, Florida.

As the Sun Belt's population continues to explode, these high-impact hurricanes will continue to become increasingly expensive for all of us simply because a higher percentage of us live where these destructive storms hit. None of this even takes into consideration the rising and warming ocean of the future due to human-caused climate change.

Related Topics: WEATHER
John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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