Zack's Weather Facts: 2015 hurricane season is over

The 2015 hurricane season is over. It was a quiet year for the Atlantic season but record-breaking on the Pacific side—which impacted our weather more thanks to El Niño.

NOAA predicted a below average Atlantic hurricane season, and, sure enough, it happened. Elven named storms with two of those hurricanes reaching major status with winds 111 mph or stronger. Both of them stayed away from U.S., keeping the streak alive for no category 3— or stronger— hurricanes hitting the U.S. in the last decade.

The season got off to a quick start with tropical storm Ana forming in May and clipping the Carolinas. Then, tropical storm Bill developed and hit Texas.

At the tail end of the season, Joaquin became the first category 4 since 1866 to impact the Bahamas in October.

We didn't have many storms form in the gulf or Caribbean because of El Niño. The very warm water kept the storminess over the eastern Pacific and put very strong winds aloft over the Caribbean that hindered tropical development.

The record-setting El Niño did just the opposite on the Pacific side. The extra heat and energy helped to set off 18 named storms and nine of them became major hurricanes over the eastern Pacific. If you include the central Pacific, it was a record amount of hurricanes, major hurricanes, and most central Pacific storms ever.

Hurricane Patricia changed weather history with winds of 200 mph— making it the strongest storm ever in western hemisphere. The leftover moisture from Patricia led to more flooding rains for the Texas area late in October. The rain pushed Onion Creek in Austin to record levels and the Blanco River and Barton Creek to their second highest levels.

Hurricane Sandra was the strongest storm ever to form in November and also created more flash flooding, and even an ice storm, across Texas and Oklahoma.

Meteorologist Zack Shields can answer weather questions via email me or through social media on Twitter and Facebook.

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