The seasonal hurricane forecasters get an attaboy this year for saying 2010 was going to be an active hurricane season in the Atlantic. The graphic below shows the tracks of all the 2010 tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic, and it clearly depicts an active season. Although many tropical cyclones formed in the deep tropics, several recurved over the open waters of the Atlantic well before nearing the U.S. mainland.
There were nineteen named storms this year. Since records began in 1851, there have only been four other seasons with as many or more named storms. There were 19 in 1887, 21 in 1933, 19 in 1995, and 28 in 2005. Some storms were obviously missed in the old days, but since the age of aircraft reconnaissance (1944) there have only been two years with the same or greater number of named storms.
Twelve hurricanes occurred in 2010. The historical record shows that only three seasons have had as many or more hurricanes: 1887 with 12, 1969 with 12, and 2005 with 15. During the recon era, two of those seasons had as many or more hurricanes.
There were five major hurricanes during this season. Some major hurricanes were obviously missed prior to the recon era. Only seven seasons (1950, 1955, 1961, 1964, 1996, 2004, and 2005) have had more than five major hurricanes during the recon era.
Of course, it is not only about the numbers. What really counts is where the tropical cyclones make landfall and the impacts on land. As far as the United States is concerned, no hurricanes made landfall. In fact, only one tropical storm (Bonnie) made landfall in the U.S. this year (Tropical Storm Hermine came close to making a landfall in the U.S. but officially made landfall just south of Brownsville, TX). And the U.S. has now gone five consecutive years without a major hurricane landfall. Since 1900, that has only happened two other times (1901-1905 and 1910-1914). It should be noted that since 1900, the U.S. has never gone six consecutive years without a major hurricane landfall.