OPAL is the 15th named storm in the Atlantic region this hurricane season, the second busiest on record. An average season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, produces 10 named storms. The busiest season was 1933, with 21 named storms, 10 of them hurricanes.
Opal, whose winds topped 150 m.p.h. at its peak, was the second hurricane to hit Pensacola this season and the third to hit the Florida Panhandle. Six of this season's storms stayed offshore. Some of the bigger storms include:
* Hurricane Erin slammed into Florida Panhandle in early August, killing 11.
* Hurricane Felix never hit land, but brushed past the mid-Atlantic coast and Bermuda, causing beach erosion. Nine people perished.
* Hurricane Iris hit Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico in late August, killing three.
* Hurricane Marilyn devastated the US Virgin Islands in mid-September and destroyed 80 percent of the homes on St. Thomas.