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That extreme activity also followed a four-year string of Septembers from 2013 to 2016 that Klotzbach called the "quietest" four Septembers since the period between 1911 and 1914.

It ranks as the most destructive and among the busiest on record.

After several quiet years, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season proved to be quite different.

Category 4 Harvey, the first major hurricane to hit the USA mainland since 2004, set a new US record for rainfall (60.5 inches near Nederland, Texas), the Miami Herald reported.

"Throughout this devastating hurricane season, NOAA provided vital forecasts and data that helped save many lives". Much of the island remains without power more than two months later. On Sept. 8, more ACE was generated than any other day in recorded history, dating to 1851.

Hurricane Irma caused approximately $50 billion in damages to Florida alone. There were 10 consecutive hurricanes this season, which tied a record set in 1893.

"Usually, storms that form after the season do so from non-tropical sources, including upper-level lows and cold fronts", said Blake. Ten hurricanes ripped through the Atlantic this year, hurtling through parts of the USA and the Caribbean and thrashing islands in their path, including Barbuda and Puerto Rico.

An average season produces 12 named storms and six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

-First Cat5 to make landfall in Cuba since 1924.

A fourth storm, Hurricane Nate also made United States landfall, but never reached major hurricane level. But the season will be remembered for the deadly trio - Harvey, Irma and Maria - that brought death and destruction to Caribbean nations and the southern U.S.

"December storms aren't that rare", said National Hurricane Center hurricane specialist Eric Blake in an email. Meanwhile, unmanned aircraft and underwater drones probed Hurricane Maria's eyewall, soared at 60,000 feet over Hurricane Harvey and dove through the storm-churned waters of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean to gather unique insights on the storms.