For the first time since 1994, no major hurricanes formed in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane season came to a slow close on November 30.
Even though there were 13 named storms this year (Average is 12 in the Atlantic basin), no one will really remember this season due to the “it didn’t hit us” factor. This season saw the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982.
We started off the season with Tropical Storm Andrea (June 5-7). It was the only storm to make landfall this year in the U.S. mainland. Andrea came ashore on the west coast of Florida June 6, 2013.
It was fighting dry air the whole time. I produced this graphic June 5, 2013.
In Columbia, S.C. we got “dry slotted” as we were covering this storm.
Columbia Metro Airport ended up getting 1.65″ of rain on June 6-7 from Tropical Storm Andrea.
The only tropical cyclones making it to hurricane status were Humberto (Sept. 8-19) and Ingrid (Sept. 12-16).
Niether one became a major hurricane.
“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 Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Also detrimental to some tropical cyclones this year were several strong outbreaks of dry and stable air that originated over Africa.”
Here is some of that dry air he is talking about.
We almost had the latest formation of a hurricane on record. Below is a graphic I made for this tropical record we missed by a few hours.
Here is an interesting fact produced by NOAA: NOAA and the U.S. Air Force Reserve flew 45 hurricane hunter aircraft reconnaissance missions over the Atlantic basin this season, totaling 435 hours–the fewest number of flight hours since at least 1966.
Below is the preliminary track of all of the named storms of 2013. “Melissa” is missing as of this posting.
However, we can’t forget about Super Typhoon Haiyan affecting the Philippines. Likely the strongest “typhoon” we have ever seen. There is no way to really know…due to the lack of weather observations in the Philippines. Winds were estimated at 195 mph.
If you are interested…here are next year’s Atlantic “names.”
As a reminder…next September will be the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo.