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NOAA UPGRADES WILMA TO A HURRICANE
2005 Season Sets Additional Records

NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Wilma taken at 1:15 p.m. EDT on Oct. 18, 2005.Oct. 17, 2005 Wilma became the 12th hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season on Tuesday over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. This season now shares the record for the most hurricanes in one season with 1969. On Monday, Wilma became the season's 21st named storm, tying the seasonal record first set in 1933. Hurricane records date back to 1851. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of Hurricane Wilma taken at 1:15 p.m. EDT on Oct. 18, 2005. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Wilma also is the final name on the 2005 list of storm names. Any additional tropical storms and hurricanes that form this season will be classified by the NOAA National Hurricane Center using the Greek alphabet, beginning with Alpha. Doing so would be a first since the naming of storms began in 1953.

NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Wilma taken at 12:15 p.m. EDT on Oct. 18, 2005.Four storms—Stan, Tammy, Vince and Wilma—have formed this month and is double the October average of two storms. Six is the record, set in October 1950 and 1887. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of Hurricane Wilma taken at 12:15 p.m. EDT on Oct. 18, 2005. Please credit “NOAA.”)

"Six weeks remain in this year's hurricane season, and although activity in the Atlantic Basin decreases, tropical storms and hurricanes are still possible," said Scott Kiser, Tropical Cyclone Program manager for the NOAA National Weather Service. NOAA records show that one storm forms in November, on average, once every three years. As many as two storms have formed in November, most recently in 2001.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA National Hurricane Center

2005 Atlantic Hurricanes Names

NOAA National Hurricane Center Archives (past seasons)

Media Contact:
Chris Vaccaro, NOAA National Weather Service, (301) 713-0622 ext. 134