Record hurricane season

The 2010 hurricane season ends officially on Nov. 30. Unofficially, it is very much over.

It has been almost unimaginably kind to U.S. taxpayers, and in the process has made some history.

In the post-mortem on their 2010 outlooks, William M. Gray and Philip J. Klotzbach at Colorado State University note that while 12 hurricanes formed in the Atlantic Basin, not a single one made U.S. landfall.

Never have so many hurricanes formed in the Basin, which includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, without a U.S. landfall. In fact, in all other years with 10 or more hurricanes had at least two landfalls on U.S. coasts.

This was the fifth year in a row without hurricane landfall anywhere along the Florida or East Coasts. Such a five-year period is unprecedented in the period of record, dating to 1878.

The folks in Florida and along the Gulf Coast may have a hard time believing this, but the 2010 season will go down as one of the busiest ever, with 19 named storms, those packing peak winds of at least 39 m.p.h.

In the last 66 years, only one other year -- 2005, the season of Katrina -- had more.

Unlike 2005, this time the upper-air steering currents were kind to the United States. Few complaints were heard from residents and property owners along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.