The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season was an active hurricane season with seventeen depressions, sixteen of them becoming tropical storms, eight of those storms becoming hurricanes, and five of those storms becoming major hurricanes (Category 3+). The season officially started on June 1 and ended on November 30. However, the formation of Tropical Storm Arthur caused the season to start one day early. This season was very costly. In fact, this season is the fourth costliest on record, with over $47.5 billion in damage (2008 USD).
Arthur was a short-lived tropical cyclone that made landfall in northeastern Belize as a tropical storm. The storm produced devastating floods and killed five people in Belize, causing an estimated 78 million dollars worth of damage in that country
Bertha was an early season category 3 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) that brought tropical storm conditions to Bermuda and became the longest-lived Atlantic July tropical cyclone on record.
Fay was a long-lived tropical storm that made eight landfalls – including a record four landfalls in Florida – and produced torrential rainfall that caused extensive floods across the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and Florida.
Gustav moved erratically through the Greater Antilles into the Gulf of Mexico, eventually making landfall on the coast of Louisiana. It briefly became a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale and caused many deaths and considerable damage in Haiti, Cuba, and Louisiana.
Hanna was a tropical cyclone that was briefly a hurricane over the Caicos Islands. Hanna also made landfall in the United States as a strong tropical storm near the border between North and South Carolina. Impacts from Hanna were greatest in Haiti, where heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding resulted in a large loss of life.
Ike was a long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that caused extensive damage and many
deaths across portions of the Caribbean and along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. It reached its peak intensity as a Category 4 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) over the open waters of the central Atlantic, directly impacting the Turks and Caicos Islands and Great Inagua Island in the southeastern Bahamas before affecting much of the island of Cuba. Ike, with its associated storm surge, then caused extensive damage across parts of the northwestern Gulf Coast when it made landfall along the upper Texas coast at the upper end of Category 2 intensity.
Omar, which directly impacted the Leeward Islands, underwent rapid intensification (up to a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) and an immediately subsequent rapid weakening.
Hurricane Paloma was a powerful hurricane that formed in the western Caribbean Sea and impacted the Cayman Islands before making landfall in Cuba and rapidly weakening. Paloma reached category 4 intensity (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) and became the second-strongest November Atlantic hurricane on record.
On April 22, 2009, at the 31st Session of the World Meteorological Organization's Regional Association IV Hurricane Committee, the WMO retired the names Gustav, Ike, and Paloma from its rotating name lists. The names were replaced with Gonzalo, Isaias, and Paulette for the 2014 season.