The 1971 Atlantic hurricane season was fairly active with several notable storms. Hurricane Edith, the strongest of the season, was a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the highest category on the scale. It struck Nicaragua at peak intensity, killing dozens, and later hit southern Louisiana. Until 2003, Hurricane Ginger held the record for the longest known duration of an North Atlantic tropical cyclone, lasting 27.25 days from early September to early October; it is currently the second longest-lasting Atlantic hurricane. Ginger moved ashore in North Carolina, producing heavy rains and damaging winds. An unnamed storm in August attained hurricane status further north than any other Atlantic hurricane.
The season officially began on June 1, and lasted until November 30, 1971; these dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. With thirteen tropical storms, of which six became hurricanes, the season was active. Despite the activity, damage in the United States totaled about $235 million (1971 USD, $1.35 billion 2012 USD), which National Hurricane Center forecaster Paul Hebert noted was "pretty small considering we had five storms in a row strike the U.S." Most of the damage came from Tropical Storm Doria, which affected much of the East Coast of the United States. Hurricane Fern struck Texas after executing an unusual track, dropping heavy rainfall and producing flooding. The first storm, Arlene, developed on July 4 off the coast of North Carolina. Activity was steady through most of the season, and the last storm, Laura, dissipated on November 22.
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