The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season that was the most active on record. It featured a total of 31 tropical cyclones, 28 named storms, 15 hurricanes, and 7 major hurricanes. The extreme activity in this season was attributed to very warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic basin, although a neutral ENSO pattern prevailed in the Pacific Ocean.
Cindy was a relatively short-lived tropical cyclone. A post-storm reanalysis indicates Cindy was a category 1 hurricane just offshore and while making landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana. The hurricane produced heavy rainfall across coastal areas of southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and caused minor wind damage in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Cindy was also the first of five named tropical cyclones that developed during an unusually active month of July. The post-storm reanalysis upgrade of Cindy to hurricane status means 15 Atlantic basin hurricanes occurred in 2005, a new record for a year.
Emily was briefly a category 5 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) in the Caribbean Sea that, at lesser intensities, struck Grenada, resort communities on Cozumel and the Yucatan Peninsula, and northeastern Mexico just south of the Texas border. Emily is the earliest-forming category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin and the only known hurricane of that strength to occur during the month of July.
Harvey spent almost a week as a tropical storm over the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Its center passed near Bermuda and the storm brought tropical storm conditions to that island but with minimal impacts.
Hurricane Irene was a long-lived Cape Verde tropical cyclone that remained over the open Atlantic Ocean throughout its lifetime and became a Category 2 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) when it was located well to the north of Bermuda.
Katrina was an extraordinarily powerful and deadly hurricane that carved a wide swath of catastrophic damage and inflicted large loss of life. It was the costliest and one of the five deadliest hurricanes to ever strike the United States. Katrina first caused fatalities and damage in southern Florida as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. After reaching Category 5 intensity over the central Gulf of Mexico, Katrina weakened to Category 3 before making landfall on the northern Gulf coast. Even so, the damage and loss of life inflicted by this massive hurricane in Louisiana and Mississippi were staggering, with significant effects extending into the Florida panhandle, Georgia, and Alabama. Considering the scope of its impacts, Katrina was one of the most devastating natural disasters in United States history.
Hurricane Ophelia was a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale that brushed the North Carolina Outer Banks, its center staying just offshore from that coast. The storm’s erratic and slow movement in the vicinity of the North Carolina coastline was similar to Hurricanes Bonnie in August 1998 and Dennis in August 1999.
Rita was an intense hurricane that reached Category 5 strength (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) over the central Gulf of Mexico, where it had the fourth-lowest central pressure on record in the Atlantic basin. Although it weakened prior to making landfall as a Category 3 hurricane near the Texas/Louisiana border, Rita produced significant storm surge that devastated coastal communities in southwestern Louisiana, and its winds, rain, and tornadoes caused fatalities and a wide swath of damage from eastern Texas to Alabama. Additionally, Rita caused floods due to storm surge in portions of the Florida Keys.
Stan was associated with disastrous inland flooding across portions of Central America and Mexico, and some estimates of the death toll are as high as 2000. However, not all of these deaths can be directly attributed to Stan.
As part of its routine post-season review, the Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center (TPC/NHC) on rare occasions identifies from new data or meteorological interpretation a previously unnoted tropical or subtropical cyclone. The TPC/NHC re analysis of 2005 has revealed a short-lived subtropical storm near the Azores Islands, which increases the record count of tropical/subtropical storms during 2005 to 28.
Tammy was a short-lived tropical storm that developed from a complex interaction between a vigorous tropical wave and an upper-level trough. The cyclone made landfall along the northeastern Florida coast and caused only minor damage.
Vince was a category 1 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) that became the first known tropical cyclone to reach the Iberian Peninsula. It also became a hurricane farther east than any other known Atlantic basin tropical cyclone.
Wilma formed and became an extremely intense hurricane over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. It had the all-time lowest central pressure for an Atlantic basin hurricane, and it devastated the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula. Wilma also inflicted extensive damage over southern Florida.
Epsilon, the 26th named tropical cyclone of the 2005 hurricane season, developed from a non-tropical upper-level area of low pressure in the central subtropical Atlantic, becoming the second tropical cyclone to do so in this area within the span of a week. It was only the sixth hurricane on record in the month of December.
Zeta was the 27th and final named storm in the Atlantic during 2005, establishing the record for the most named storms in one year in that basin. It was the second-latest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic basin, only six hours earlier than Hurricane Alice (1954) that also became a tropical storm on 30 December. Zeta and Alice are the only two Atlantic tropical cyclones on record to cross from one calendar year to the next. Zeta spent about one week moving erratically in a general westward direction over the subtropical waters of the central Atlantic, and it did not affect land.
In the spring of 2006, the World Meteorological Organization retired five hurricane names: Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan, and Wilma. Their replacements in the 2011 season were Don, Katia, Rina, Sean, and Whitney, respectively.