The Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang had an excellent article summarizing the amazing record-breaking tropical season in the Northern Hemisphere this year. Not only did the numbers break the old records, they smashed them. The number of named storms was up 48 percent from normal, the number of hurricanes was 178 percent of normal, and the number of major hurricanes was up 233%. And yet we had practically no activity affecting the Southeast.
The active season, mainly in the Pacific, was aided by the very warm waters associated with El Niño, while wind shear from the El Niño kept storms from developing in the Atlantic. Next year, with El Niño gone and perhaps even flipping into a La Niña, I expect to see a much more active season in the Atlantic Ocean. But scientists still can’t predict where the most likely storm tracks will be so far in advance, so we will just have to wait.