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Western Atlantic hurricane season quietest since 1914, but shows signs of life

Hurricane specialists have noted that this has been one of the quietest hurricane seasons in the Western Atlantic since records began.  You have to go back to 1914 to find a year with so few hurricanes in that region (through September 22).  A number of news articles have been written about this hurricane “drought”, including this one at the Daily Mail.

Scientists attribute this in part to the very strong El Niño that is in progress in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, which provides a strong subtropical jet that prevents tropical waves from developing into storms.  Other scientists point to a long-term cycle in hurricane numbers which indicates that we may be going into a quieter period of hurricane activity, although this is still quite controversial.  This long-term cycle lasts 20-30 years and could mean less hurricane activity each year, although risks from individual storms that develop are still significant.  You can read about this at CBS News here.

Meanwhile, we still have quite a bit of the hurricane season to go.  The weather models have been predicting the possibility of a tropical low which could develop in the western Gulf of Mexico over the next few days.  If it does, it could bring rain to parts of the Southeast.  You can read about the potential for development here from Accuweather.com.  It is not expected to develop into a hurricane due to the wind shear which continues to blanket the region, but could cause local flooding and heavy rains along its path, which is not yet well determined.  This would contribute to the wet conditions this week before we go back into a drier pattern.

Source: AccuWeather.com 9-35-3025

Source: AccuWeather.com 9-25-2015