The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season was an above-average season. 20 depressions formed, of which 18 became named storms. 9 of the named storms became hurricanes, and 4 became majors. Many of the storms affected land. A large majority of the storms formed from tropical waves. The most destructive storm was Hurricane Karl, which caused destruction in Haiti, Cuba, the Yucatan, and the US Gulf Coast. Karl caused $20 billion in damage and killed 435. Another destructive storm was Bonnie, which made landfall on the US Gulf Coast at C3 intensity in early July. It was one of the earliest major hurricane landfalls in the US on record. Bonnie caused $7.5 billion in damage and killed 41. The strongest storm was Gaston, which reached 150 mph. There were no Category 5 hurricanes this season.
The first storm, Alex, formed on June 2, a day after the start of the season. Bonnie followed and made an unusually early major hurricane landfall in the US. It was one of 4 storms to exist in July, the others being Colin (which was one of the easternmost July storms on record), Danielle, and Earl. 6 storms existed in August, including Danielle and Earl which crossed over from the previous month. In September, 5 storms existed. 4 storms existed in October. 2 storms, Hurricane Richard and Subtropical Storm Shary, existed in November. The last storm was a post-season depression that made landfall in Nicaragua in December. Over all, there were 20 storms in this season, making it above-average.
Formed from a tropical wave north of the Lesser Antilles. It tracked westward, and passed through the Bahamas as a TS. It then impacted the Florida Keys as a C1. After that, it entered the Gulf of Mexico and quickly strengthened into a C3. Bonnie peaked at 125 mph and made landfall near Lake Charles, LA as a 120 mph storm. It weakened over land and dissipated near Iowa. Bonnie caused $7.5 billion dollars in damage and killed 41 people. It was the 2nd earliest major hurricane landfall in the US, after Audrey in 1957. It made landfall late on July 3.
On July 11, a tropical wave moved off Africa. It impacted the Cape Verdes before it gradually organized. It became a depression hundreds of miles west of the islands on July 14. It then strengthened into TS Colin and gradually turned north before wind shear caused it to die on July 19. It was not a threat to land. It was also one of the easternmost July tropical storms on record.
A depression formed in the Central Atlantic from a tropical wave that went off the coast of Africa behind Colin's wave. It then strengthened into TS Danielle. Originally predicted to possibly reach hurricane status, it degenerated back into a tropical wave before reaching the Windward Islands. The wave moved through the Caribbean before it regenerated in the western Caribbean and impacted Belize. It dissipated over land. Danielle caused $53 million in damage and killed 21 people.
On July 26, a strong tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa. It became a depression on July 28. It strengthened into TS Earl and moved westward. It reached hurricane intensity while in the Central Atlantic. Then it started to strengthen faster, and peaked as a 130 mph C4 southeast of Bermuda. Earl then brought near hurricane force winds to Bermuda as it passed southeast of the island as a C3. It moved northeast and then north and died out on August 10. Damage was $35 million and there were 3 deaths.
A vigorous tropical wave moved off Africa on August 9. It became a depression the next day near the Cape Verdes. The depression strengthened into TS Gaston. Gaston gradually strengthened as it moved westward. It became a hurricane late on August 12. It strengthened further to a C2 hurricane in the Central Atlantic. However, wind shear caused it to weaken to a C1 northeast of the Lesser Antilles. The wind shear weakened, and it restrengthened into a C2. Gaston started to strengthen more quickly, and it peaked as a 150 mph C4 southwest of Bermuda. It then started to weaken as it brought heavy rain and tropical storm force winds to Bermuda. It eventually dissipated as it made landfall in Newfoundland. Gaston caused $84 million dollars in damage and 8 deaths.
A tropical wave just behind Gaston developed into a depression close to the Windward Islands. It crossed the islands and strengthened into a TS. Hermine gradually strengthened as it skirted Puerto Rico and made landfall in the Dominican Republic as a 65 mph storm on August 20. It rapidly weakened over the mountains and dissipated that night. Its remnants survived to Cuba before it dissipated completely. Hermine caused $71 million dollars in damage and 63 deaths.
A tropical wave became a depression between Africa and the Cape Verdes. It became Tropical Storm Ian just south of the Cape Verdes. It moved westward while it gradually strengthened, and it became a hurricane hundreds of miles west of the islands. Ian strengthened further into a C2 as it moved northwestward. Wind shear started to weaken it, and it became a C1 as it turned north. It dissipated on August 31 nearly halfway between the Azores and Bermuda. It did not affect land, except for some rain in the Cape Verdes as it was developing.
Another tropical wave developed into a depression on September 2, which became a TS hundreds of miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. It moved northward, peaked at 50 mph, and then strong upper level winds caused it to dissipate on September 5. It was never a threat to land.
A depression formed east of the Windward Islands from a tropical wave. It became a tropical storm and crossed the islands. Karl then reached hurricane intensity before making landfall in the Dominican Republic. It weakened into a TS over the mountains of the Dominican Republic, but reemerged into the Caribbean. It strengthened back into a C1 hurricane just south of eastern Cuba, and then it started to quickly intensify. Karl made landfall on the northern tip of the Yucatan as a C3 hurricane, and weakened back into a C1 as it emerged into the Gulf of Mexico. Karl then turned towards the Gulf Coast, and made landfall near Mobile, Alabama as a C4 hurricane on September 13. Despite its intensity, it barely had an eye at landfall. Karl weakened over land as it passed through Alabama and Georgia, and emerged over the Atlantic as a C1. It strengthened back into a C2 before it started to weaken again. Karl dissipated on September 18. It caused $20 billion dollars in damage and 435 deaths throughout its path, ranking it among the most costliest hurricanes.
Formed northeast of the Lesser Antilles from another tropical wave on September 12. It moved to the north and then northeast, and strengthened into a hurricane. Lisa peaked at 90 mph before it started to weaken and turn back to the north. It dissipated on September 18. Lisa did not affect anyone.
A tropical wave developed a depression in the central Atlantic on September 18 as Karl and Lisa were dissipating. It strengthened into TS Matthew later that day. It moved northward and peaked at 70 mph, just below hurricane intensity. Upper level winds started to weaken it, and it dissipated on September 25 hundreds of miles southwest of the Azores. Matthew wasn't a threat to land.
Nicole formed on September 30 from yet another tropical wave. It moved northwestward and affected Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic before strengthening to a hurricane near the Turks and Caicos and turning north. It then turned northeastward and strengthened into a C2. Nicole's center went extremely close to Bermuda, raking it with heavy rain and hurricane force winds. It weakened into a C1 as it started to move away from Bermuda, and it turned east. Weakening continued, and it became a TS as it turned back to the northeast. Nicole dissipated on October 8. The storm caused $345 million dollars in damage and 32 deaths, mainly in Bermuda. Despite the damage it caused to Bermuda, Nicole wasn't retired.
On October 7, a tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean was immediately declared Tropical Storm Otto. It took a similar track to Nicole, affecting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and moving northwestward. It strengthened into a hurricane, turned northeastward, and reached its peak intensity of 85 mph as it skirted southeast of Bermuda. It became the second storm in a row to affect the island, however it was much less destructive than Nicole. Otto then weakened into a TS and dissipated on October 14. Otto caused $31 million in damages and killed 3 people.
An area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean became a depression on October 20, becoming the first storm since Fiona not to develop from a tropical wave. It strengthened into TS Paula later that day. Paula moved westward toward Belize. It then made landfall in that country at its peak intensity of 60 mph late on October 23. Over land, it weakened into a depression, and dissipated on October 24. Paula caused $157 million dollars in damage. It also caused 149 deaths, mainly due to flash floods and deadly mudslides. Despite the death toll, the name Paula wasn't retired.
On October 28, a tropical wave spawned an area of low pressure in the southwest Gulf of Mexico. It became a depression on October 29. However, before it could strengthen into a tropical storm, it made landfall north of Veracruz, Mexico. The depression dissipated over land. It caused minimal damage and 1 death.
A tropical wave developed a depression in the eastern Caribbean on November 2nd. It then strengthened into TS Richard. It later strengthened into a hurricane between Jamaica and Haiti. The hurricane made landfall in Cuba at C1 intensity. It weakened a little over land, but was still a hurricane when it emerged into the Atlantic. Richard crossed the Bahamas at C1 intensity, and then strengthened into a C2 as it turned northeastward. It remained at that intensity for a day before it weakened back into a C1. Richard passed just west of Bermuda while weakening into a tropical storm. It then dissipated on November 10. Richard caused $646 million dollars in damage and 45 deaths. Despite the damage it caused, Richard wasn't retired.
An extratropical cyclone gradually acquired subtropical characteristics, and was declared Subtropical Storm Shary hundreds of miles southeast of Bermuda on November 21, skipping depression status. It moved north, and dissipated on November 24 without affecting land.
An area of disturbed weather developed in the central Caribbean, and moved west. It became a depression on December 9, 9 days after the end of the season. It was originally expected to become a tropical storm and be named Tobias. However, it made landfall in Nicaragua, without ever reaching tropical storm strength. The depression dissipated on December 11. It caused minimal damage and 6 deaths.
The following names were used to name tropical cyclones this year. This is the same list used in the 2010 season, expect for Ian and Tobias, which replaced Igor and Tomas. The name Ian was used for the first time this year. Three names; Tobias, Virginie, and Walter, were not used during the course of the year.
If this season exhausted the main list, the Greek alphabet would have been used. These are the first six letters of the Greek alphabet:
Due to extensive damage and deaths, the names Bonnie and Karl were officially retired, and will never be used again for an Atlantic hurricane. They were replaced by Becky and Kenny for the 2022 season.
List for 2022:
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)
ACE (104 kt2) – Storm: Source
ACE is the result of a storm's winds multiplied by how long it lasted for, so storms that lasted a long time, as well as particularly strong hurricanes, have higher ACE totals. 2016 was active in these terms; with an ACE total of 139. Tropical depressions and subtropical storms, namely Subtropical Storm Shary, are not included in season totals.
This is a table of the storms and their effects in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season. This table includes the storm's names, duration, peak intensity, Areas affected, damages, and death totals. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave or a low. All of the damage figures are in 2016 USD (the listed damage figure is in millions).