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Hurricane Season Peaks Tuesday, but where are the Hurricanes? - 04/08/14

Our Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, usually peaks on September 10.  However, as of Monday, September 9, we have yet to see a hurricane form.

So far, we have seen 8 tropical storms since the start of the 2013 season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) originally predicted an extremely active hurricane season.  Even as of August 8, NOAA forecasted 6-9 hurricanes (Normal: 6) and 3-5 major hurricanes (Normal: 3).

Records
So far this season has been a dud, with no hurricanes yet.  The latest first hurricane in a season was Gustav with became the first hurricane in 2002 on September 11. (This was since the use of satellites beginning in the 1960s).  The latest first hurricane on record (pre-satellite era) materialized on October 8, 1905.

Plus, with records going back to 1851, there has only been 17 years where the first Atlantic hurricane formed after September 4.
The average first hurricane usually forms on August 10.

Humberto
Our only hope to see a hurricane in the next few days is with tropical storm Humberto, which currently sits south of the Cape Verde Islands.  It will move over warmer waters over the next few days and is forecast to become a category one hurricane on Wednesday (September 11).
If it forms after 8 a.m. on Wednesday, it will set a record for the latest 'first' hurricane in the Atlantic season on record!
It is then expected to move north, over cooler waters, where it will weaken back into a tropical storm.

So where are all the hurricanes?
Many of the tropical storms that formed, dissipated while running into dry air and wind shear, which kills their development.  In addition, dust blowing off the Sahara Desert can cool the Atlantic sea surface temperatures, which could hinder the growth of tropical storms.

El Ni-NO
El Nino, which is the warming of the tropical Pacific and part of the mix of unstable ingredients that can affect hurricane formation, is not a factor this year.

Active second half?
Just because the first half of the season has been quiet, doesn't mean the second half will be too.  Many experts are still anticipating tropical storm activity to ramp up now through November.

-Allison

Meteorologist Allison Miller
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