Weaker Than Expected 2013 Hurricane Season Ends

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season came to an end on Saturday, November 30th with the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982. This season is ranked the 6th least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950 in terms of combined strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes.

A total of 13 named storms and 2 hurricanes made a debut this season, which began right on cue with tropical formation in the first week of June while peaking in September and dropping off rapidly in October. So why the wimpy season?

Suomi NPP satellite peers into Tropical Storm Andrea, the first storm of the season. - Credit: NOAA

Suomi NPP satellite peers into Tropical Storm Andrea, the first storm of the season. – Credit: NOAA

The season was weaker than expected, in large part, due to persistent, unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical Atlantic Ocean.

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.

GOES East satellite tracks Subtropical Storm Melissa, the last storm of the season. - Credit: WeatherBug

GOES East satellite tracks Subtropical Storm Melissa, the last storm of the season. – Credit: WeatherBug

Dr. Bell further explains, “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. Also detrimental to some tropical cyclones this year were several strong outbreaks of dry and stable air that originated over Africa.

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1. Let’s hope that we’ll have an even calmer season than this year!

 

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-The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team

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