For the first time, the GOES East satellite was able to see the entire Atlantic basin from its operational location of 75.2 degrees west longitude. This allows NOAA to show storms as they form off the coast of Africa and then enter the Atlantic.
The 2018 hurricane season was the first since 2008 to have four named storms active at the same time, Florence, Helene, Isaac and Joyce. Hurricane Florence caused catastrophic flooding in portions of North and South Carolina.
For the fourth consecutive year, hurricane activity began prior to the official June 1st start of the season, with Tropical Storm Alberto forming on May 25. Alberto made landfall in northern Florida and traveled as far north as the Great Lakes as a tropical depression.
A record seven named storms, Alberto, Beryl, Debby, Ernesto, Joyce, Leslie and Oscar, were classified as subtropical at some point. The previous record of five subtropical storms occurred in 1969. A subtropical storm is a named storm that has tropical and non-tropical characteristics. All subtropical storms this season eventually transitioned into a tropical storm, with three (Beryl, Leslie and Oscar) eventually becoming hurricanes.
Several river forecast locations in the Carolinas approached or broke their record flood level in the days and weeks following the hurricane. It took two to three weeks for many river locations to fall below flood stage, and the final river crested one month after Florence made landfall.