New Orleans, by all accounts, weathered the storm and made it through Hurricane Gustav with relatively little damage, relative to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina three years earlier. Not every community was spared, and as many as eight U.S. deaths have been blamed on the storm. Gulf of Mexico oil infrastructure also appeared relatively intact, allowing oil prices to plunge more than $7 in early trading.
But the traditional peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is just days away, which means that the danger is not over.
Tropical Storm Hanna is menacing the Bahamas and is expected to reach hurricane strength before hitting the U.S. East Coast toward the end of this week.
Tropical Storm Ike, which formed behind Hanna, is following generally in her footsteps. Forecasters expect Ike to reach hurricane strength before hitting the Bahamas and/or other Caribbean islands next weekend.
And a tropical depression behind Ike that is expected to form into Tropical Storm Josephine, and later reach hurricane status, is gaining strength in the open Atlantic.
If forecasts prove correct for these three storms, they would bring the season's total to 10 named storms, six of them hurricanes, and at least two of them major hurricanes.
Here's a look at the season in the Atlantic so far:
1. Tropical Storm Arthur formed quickly on May 31 off Belize, lost tropical storm strength in fewer than 24 hours, and brought punishing rains of 10-15 inches to parts of the Yucatán Peninsula, including Mexico and Guatemala.
2. Hurricane Bertha formed as a tropical storm July 3 in the far eastern Atlantic, then debuted as the Atlantic's first hurricane July 7 and quickly grew to major hurricane status. By the time it affected land, July 14 in Bermuda, it was a strong tropical storm, causing rough surf and 3-5 inches of rain. It broke the record for longest-lived July storm and on July 18 reformed into a hurricane.
3. Tropical Storm Cristobal formed on July 19 off the coast of the Carolinas. The first named storm to threaten the U.S. coast, Cristobal threatened 3-5 inches of rain and strong storm surges across South and North Carolina.
4. Hurricane Dolly reached Category 2 strength in the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall near the Texas-Mexico border July 23, 2008. Heavy rains and wind led to at least one death, flooding and damage in Texas and in neighboring states that may exceed $1 billion.
5. Tropical Storm Edouard formed August 3 in the Gulf of Mexico and though forecasters predicted strengthening and it passed by critical oil infrastructure, it was largely welcomed for relieving drought conditions in some parts of Texas and Louisiana.
6. Tropical Storm Fay formed August 15 off the coast of the Dominican Republic and killed 35 people there and in Haiti before making a record five landfalls in Florida, where it killed 11 before moving on as a tropical depression, killing at least one in Georgia.
7. Hurricane Gustav formed August 25 off the coast of Haiti and reached hurricane strength Aug. 26 before making landfall there. It has been blamed for dozens of deaths in the Caribbean, making it the deadliest tropical storm of 2008 in the Atlantic to date, even before it reached the Gulf Coast, where 2 million evacuated in preparation.
8. Tropical Storm Hanna formed August 28 in the Central Atlantic. Forecasters expected it to reach hurricane strength as it approaches Bermuda and, ultimately, the U.S. East Coast.
9. Tropical Storm Ike formed September 1 and is on track to become a hurricane that strikes in the Caribbean within days.
Josephine - Kyle - Laura - Marco - Nana - Omar - Paloma - Rene - Sally - Teddy - Vicky - Wilfred
1. Tropical Storm Alma brought heavy rains and winds to the Central American nations of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala after forming May 29.
2. Hurricane Boris formed near Baja California and headed west into the Pacific, before reaching hurricane strength July 1.
3. Tropical Storm Cristina formed near Hawaii June 29 but dissipated before making landfall.
4. Tropical Storm Douglas formed July 2 and threatened to dump heavy rains on portions of southwest Mexico.
5. Hurricane Elida formed July 12 as a tropical storm and became the season's second Pacific hurricane July 14 when it became a weak Category 1 storm tracking westward from Mexico.
6. Hurricane Fausto formed as a tropical storm July 16 off the coast of Mexico. Like other 2008 Pacific hurricanes, the third of the year did not affect land.
7. Hurricane Genevieve formed in the Pacific Ocean, more than 580 miles off the coast of Mexico, on July 25, 2008. The fourth hurricane in the eastern Pacific, it did not affect land.
8. Hurricane Hernan formed August 6 hundreds of miles from Baja California and reached hurricane strength Aug. 8. On Aug. 9, it reached Category 3 status, the first major hurricane of 2008 in the Pacific. It lost hurricane Strength Aug. 11 and dissipated Aug. 12.
9. Tropical Storm Iselle formed August 13.
10. Tropical Storm Julio formed August 23 and made landfall in Baja California Aug. 24.
Karina - Lowell - Marie - Norbert - Odile - Polo - Rachel - Simon - Trudy - Vance - Winnie - Xavier - Yolanda - Zeke
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