The 2017 Season was one of the worst seasons in recorded history, causing 8,447 fatalities and $113.56 billion in damage. This season has many notable systems. Hurricane Don became the first major hurricane to strike the United States since Wilma in 2005. Hurricane Jose caused over 8,000 fatalities. Hurricane Philippe was the first major hurricane to strike Louisiana since Hurricane Rita. Hurricane Sean formed very late in the season and caused $210 million in damage at the Azores.
On June 20, a low pressure area organized into Tropical Depression One. It moved north into the Bay of Campeche, and intensified into Tropical Storm Arlene on June 21. Arlene moved northeast, and intensified to 45 mph, before striking the Florida Panhandle. Arlene caused minimal damage, but brought lots of rain. Arlene caused no fatalities. Arlene became post Tropical and dissipated on June 23.
Another low pressure area organized on June 30, and intensified into Tropical Storm Bret, as it had gale force winds. Bret slowly moved north until it began moving northeast rapidly. Initially expected to reach hurricane intensity, colder waters prevented this from happening. Bret became a post tropical cyclone on July 2, with minimal land impact.
A weak Tropical Depression formed off the coast of Africa on July 6. Although conditions were favorable, the system itself was disorganized. The system dissipated the next day, and the remnants brought rain to the Cape Verde islands.
A disorganized Tropical Wave organized on July 15, and became a Tropical Depression. It soon intensified into Tropical Storm Cindy, becoming the third named storm of the season. It moved westward, failing to intensify beyond 50 mph due to shear in the area. It moved north of the Leeward Islands and dissipated on July 17. Cindy brought some rain to the Leeward Islands.
In late July, a Tropical Depression formed east of the Leeward Islands. It intensified into Tropical Storm Don. Originally, Don was forecast to make landfall on Haiti and dissipate. However, a low formed and pushed Don away from Haiti. However, it did come close enough to tear up Don with its mountains. It weakened to a 30 mph Tropical Depression, and was briefly considered an open wave, but was found to be closed in post analysis. Don entered the Bahamas, where conditions were very favorable. Don rapidly intensified, becoming the season's first hurricane on the morning of August 1. That night, it was a major hurricane. Don peaked at category 4 status, with winds of 145 mph, and approached South Carolina. Don weakened slightly due to shear in the area. On August 4, Don made landfall on South Carolina with winds of 130 mph. Don brought heavy, constant rainfall to areas in South Carolina and North Carolina, along with very strong gusts. As Don moved north, it retained hurricane intensity, bringing hurricane force winds to Virginia and even as far as Ohio. Don became a Post-Tropical cyclone on August 6, but was still tracked. Don moved through New York City, causing excessive damage and flooding. Finally, advisories were stopped on August 7, as Don approached Canada. Overall Don caused $13.7 billion in damage and 67 fatalities.
While Don moved through the Bahamas, a new area of low pressure was rapidly organizing near the Yucatan Penninsula. It gained a closed circulation on August 2, and Tropical Depression Six was declared. Tropical Storm Emily was named by the next advisory. On August 4, Emily made landfall on the Yucatan Penninsula, as a 65 mph Tropical Storm. Instead of moving into the Bay of Campeche as forecast, Emily moved north, into the Gulf of Mexico, where it attained hurricane intensity on August 6. Emily attained peak intensity that day, with winds of 90 mph. However, conditions deteriorated and Emily began to weaken. Emily made landfall on Louisiana on August 7, with winds of 60 mph. Emily caused some flooding and rain in Louisiana, but damage was less than anticipated. Emily caused $124 million in damage and 9 fatalities, all in Louisiana.
Following a break in activity, a long-tracked Tropical wave intensified into TD Seven on August 15, and into Franklin by the next advisory. Franklin steadily intensified in the Bahamas, reaching hurricane intensity for the first time on August 18. Franklin than began to turn quickly to the east, and became post tropical on August 20. Despite Franklin's proximity, minimal damage was reported in the Bahamas.
A post-tropical low exited the coast of Virginia on August 25. In favorable conditions, it intensified into TD Eight, and into Tropical Storm Gert the next day. Gert moved quickly westward, while staying away from land. Gert became post tropical on August 28, after peaking with 65 mph winds.
A Tropical Depression formed on August 30, and made landfall on Cuba. After emerging into the Bahamas, it intensified into Tropical Storm Harvey. As Harvey moved northwest, it intensified, despite having a poor appearance. Despite not having any signs of an eye, let alone an eyewall, hurricane force wind were found, so Harvey was briefly upgraded to minimal hurricane intensity. It weakened by the next advisory, and continued that trend until landfall on Georgia, as a 50 mph Tropical Storm. Harvey dissipated inland. Harvey caused $10 million in damage and 3 fatalities.
A Tropical wave exited the coast of Africa on September 6, and was monitored for potential development. Convection increased as the system approached the Caribbean, and a Tropical Depression formed on September 10. As it intensified into Tropical Storm Irma the next day, the NHC originally took the storm into the Caribbean, and possibly developed it as a major hurricane. However, a low pressure area formed. Irma intensified into a hurricane on September 12, and was pushed north by the low. It reached peak intensity on September 14, as a 105 mph category 2 hurricane. Irma than began to weaken, and Irma dissipated on September 15, with no land impacts.
Following Irma's wave, a more disorganized tropical wave exited the coast of Africa on September 9. Initially conditions were unfavorable, but shear lessened, and a burst of convection formed a Tropical Depression on September 13. Initially expected to be short lived due to unfavorable conditions that were forecast to develop, these conditions never materialized, and Tropical Storm Jose was declared on September 15. Favorable conditions in the tropical Atlantic lead to steady intensification, and Jose intensified into a hurricane on September 16. Conditions were continuously predicted to become less favorable, but they never formed. Jose became a major hurricane on September 17, the second of the season at the time. Jose reached category 4 strength that evening, and reached peak intensity the next morning, with winds of 150 mph. Jose than stalled in strength, and eventually began to weaken as an eyewall replacement cycle began. At that time, the NHC noted a low pressure area had formed to the north, which would push Jose south. They shifted Jose's track towards the Caribbean, as opposed to the original classic CV major track. On September 19, Jose made landfall on the Dominican Republic with winds of 125 mph. The storm's strong winds and prolonged rainfall caused record landslides across the island, killing about 8,000 people. This made Jose the deadliest hurricane since Mitch. Jose began to weaken more as it traversed Hispaniola, and exited the island as a category 2 hurricane. Jose than weakened further to category 1 intensity, and eventually struck Cuba with winds of 85 mph. Damage was much less, but still significant. Jose than entered the Gulf of Mexico, which gave Jose one more shot at intensification. Jose rapidly intensified as it became much more organized, and reached major intensity once again on September 22. Jose than struck Louisiana as a 120 mph C3, the first major US landfall since Wilma, and the first major Louisiana landfall since Rita. Jose rapidly weakened inland, and dissipated on September 25. Throughout the storm's horrible path of destruction, the storm caused $49.3 billion in damage and 8,236 fatalities
A disorganized Tropical wave exited Africa on September 5. Initially expected to develop quickly, strong shear kept the system from organizing. The system eventually entered the Caribbean, where recon jets were flew into the system. They never found a closed circulation despite favorable environments. Eventually, the system entered the Bay of Campeche, and a Tropical Depression finally formed on September 17, 12 days after initially invested. Initially not expected to intensify, Katia formed on September 18, and moved inland on September 19, and dissipated that day. Katia caused minimal impacts.
On September 18, a Tropical wave exited the coast of Africa. It organized into a Tropical Depression on September 21. Under favorable conditions, it intensified into Tropical Storm Lee, and continued a steady trend. For the first time ever, Lee became a hurricane on September 23. Lee continued to intensify, and became a major hurricane on September 25. It peaked on September 26, with 125 mph winds, and a pressure of 954 millibars. Lee then began a weakening trend, and was eventually absorbed into an extratropical cyclone on October 2. Lee had light impacts on the east coast and Bermuda.
A Tropical wave organized into a depression on October 4. However, conditions were unfavorable for further development. The depression meandered for two days before eventually dissipating on October 7.
A low pressure area became established on October 9. Conditions became more favorable, and a Tropical Depression formed on October 12. The next afternoon, it strengthened into Tropical Storm Maria. Maria then made an unexpected turn to the northeast, and became a hurricane on October 14. Maria then unexpectedly reached category 2 intensity on October 15. Weakening ensued soon after, as conditions became less favorable. Maria dissipated on October 16.
A Tropical Depression formed from an area of low pressure on October 15. It intensified into Tropical Storm Nate that evening. Initially expected to head west and become a hurricane, a change in the position of a nearby low pushed Nate north. Nate peaked on October 16, with winds of 60 mph. Nate than weakened to a Depression, and struck the panhandle as a 30 mph Depression. Nate moved inland and dissipated. Nate had light impacts.
Ophelia was the only subtropical storm on record in the Gulf of Mexico. It formed on October 16, continuing the very active month of October. Despite NHC expected Tropical Development, a Subtropical Storm was confirmed on October 17, and was named Ophelia. Ophelia headed due west, and peaked on October 18, with 70 mph winds. Ophelia than struck Texas at peak intensity, and quickly weakened. Because of that, impacts were light.
A Tropical wave exited the coast of Africa on October 16. It moved through the unfavorable tropical atlantic with no further development. The system entered the caribbean, and shear lessened, giving the system a chance to develop. A Tropical Depression formed on October 21, and intensified into Tropical Storm Philippe. Initially expected to stay weak due to SAL that was expected to form, the SAL never formed. Because of this, Philippe was in low shear and warm waters, allowing for rapid deepening. Philippe was a hurricane on October 23, and became a major hurricane the next day. On October 25, Philippe reached category 5 status, becoming the first and only storm of the season to do so. Philippe peaked that day, with 175 mph winds, and a pressure of 912, making it the strongest atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Dean. However, conditions became worse, and Philippe weakened. On October 26, Philippe struck the coast of Nicaragua and Honduras as a strong category 4 hurricane, causing severe damage. Philippe then headed north, instead of proceeding inland like predicted, and entered the Gulf of Mexico. For a short time, Philippe threatened a category 4 Louisiana landfall, but weakened to a category 3 and struck Texas instead. Philippe caused severe damage. Philippe moved north, and the circulation dissipated on October 30.
An extratropical cyclone maneuvered through the Atlantic Ocean, absorbing the remnants of Philippe. Eventually the National Hurricane Center marked the system for subtropical development. On November 2, a subtropical depression formed. It became tropical and was named Rina on November 3. Shortly after, Rina began to weaken due to colder waters, and it dissipated on November 4, with no land impact.
Another extratropical cyclone was monitored for subtropical development in late November. Subtropical Storm Sean formed on November 18. It quickly became Tropical, and became a hurricane on November 20. By that point, Sean develop "impressive rainbands" as stated by the NHC. These rainbands lashed at the Azores, caused about $200 million in damage, combined with the wind. Sean weakened on November 21, and became extratropical on November 22. The name Sean was retired due to damage in the Azores.
This is a table of all the storms that have formed in the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. It includes their duration, names, landfall(s), denoted in parentheses, damages, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect (an example of an indirect death would be a traffic accident), but were still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave, or a low, and all the damage figures are in 2017 USD.
Puerto Rico, Haiti, Bahamas, East Coast of the United States, Canada
August 2 – August 8
Category 1 hurricane
Mexico, United States
August 15 – August 20
Category 1 hurricane
Bahamas, United States
August 26 – August 28
Canada, Nova Scotia
August 30 – September 6
Category 1 hurricane
Bahamas, United States
September 10 – September 15
Category 2 hurricane
September 13 – September 25
Category 4 hurricane
Cape Verde Islands, Leeward Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, United States
September 17 – September 19
September 21 – October 2
Category 3 hurricane
East Coast of the United States, Bermuda
October 4 – October 7
October 12 – October 16
Category 2 hurricane
October 15 – October 17
October 16 – October 20
Mexico, United States
October 21 – October 30
Category 5 hurricane
South America, Central America, Mexico, Jamaica, United States
November 2 – November 4
November 18 – November 22
Category 1 hurricane
June 20 – November 22
The names listed below were assigned to storms in the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Any names that are not retired this year will be re-used in the 2023 season. The name Irma was used for the first time this year.
During the Worldwide Meteorological Organization in Spring 2018, the names Don,Jose, Philippe, and Sean were officially retired. They will be replaced with Dustin, Jordan, Pat, and Sven in the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season.