MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The early predictions for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season favored an above-average season. But as the season comes to a close, the Atlantic has churned out the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982.
According to NOAA, 2013 ranked as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950.
“A combination of conditions acted to offset several climate patterns that historically have produced active hurricane seasons,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “As a result, we did not see the large numbers of hurricanes that typically accompany these climate patterns.”
Of the 13 named storms that formed in the Atlantic basin this year, two, Ingrid and Humberto, became hurricanes. However, neither Ingrid nor Humberto became major hurricanes. The number of hurricanes and major hurricanes were far lower than the average of six and three, respectively.
Tropical Storm Andrea, the first of the season, was the only named storm to make landfall in the United States this year.
“This unexpectedly low activity is linked to an unpredictable atmospheric pattern that prevented the growth of storms by producing exceptionally dry, sinking air and strong vertical wind shear in much of the main hurricane formation region, which spans the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea,” said Bell. “Also detrimental to some tropical cyclones this year were several strong outbreaks of dry and stable air that originated over Africa.”
NOAA will be putting together the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook in May.