What Happened To Hurricane Season?

While experts were claiming the 2013 hurricane season would be a rough one... this may go down as one of the quietest ever.

While experts were claiming the 2013 hurricane season would be a rough one... this may go down as one of the quietest ever.

12 Named Storms (Lorenzo being the last) and 1 Hurricane.

The forecast at the start of the season was for 18, 9, & 4.  We got 12, 1, & 0!

See the tracks of the storms...

So... what in the world happened to this season when the indicators all pointed to an active one?

This is a good write-up from our radar provider, Baron Services...

'The ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) for the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season thus far has been 29. The highest ACE for a season was the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season with an ACE of 250, and the lowest ACE for a hurricane season was 17 in 1983. If we were to finish the season with an ACE of 29, that would be the fourth lowest ACE for a season or the fourth lowest tropical activity for a hurricane season.

There have been two main factors for the low tropical activity. The first deals with persistent dry and descending air that has occurred over much of the Atlantic basin this summer.

Saharan dust is often associated with descending air, which also prohibits tropical storm formation. These factors have greatly diminished tropical storms that form in the traditional Cape Verde season near the coast of Africa, and those that have developed have often suffered a quick demise due to dry air entrainment. Even though the Cape Verde season is essentially finished, large amounts of Saharan dust continue to move off the African Coast, as evident with the image below.

The second dampening factor has been wind shear. Areas in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico have experienced a high amount of wind shear throughout the summer.'

The shear is why the storms that remotely threatened our area were ripped apart like Andrea and Karen.

It will be interesting to see what the seasonal experts say in their post-mortem.  It will also been interesting to see how they adjust their forecasts for 2014.  One thing they have done well is adjust their forecasts with success as they learn more.

It looks like the final 2 weeks of the season will go away with nary a whimper.  Congrats!  It looks like we have survived another hurricane season here in Northwest Florida.

Sincerely,

 

Chris Smith
Chief Meteorologist, WJHG-TV
chris.smith@wjhg.com

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