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Atlantic Basin Strongest Hurricanes

Atlantic Basin Strongest Hurricanes

Total number of strongest (Category 4 and 5) North Atlantic basin hurricanes (purple) and strongest U.S. landfalling hurricanes (orange) in 5-year periods based on annual data from 1946 to 2008. The bar for the last 5-year period is based on the assumption that the level of activity from 2006 to 2008 persists through 2010. From 1946 to the mid-1960s, as indicated by the arrow above, hurricane intensity was measured primarily by aircraft reconnaissance. Data prior to aircraft reconnaissance are not shown due to the greater uncertainty in estimates of a hurricane's maximum intensity. Satellites have increased the reliability of hurricane intensity estimates since the mid-1960s.  Image Reference: NOAA1