Here we are entering the peak of hurricane season, which spans from late August through early October, and we still haven’t seen a hurricane.
Is this rare? Yes.
Is it unheard of? No.
This 2022 season is the first in the past five years that got to August without at least one hurricane forming. And in the last 30 years, only four seasons have been storm-free from July 4th through August 4th. These seasons happened in 1993, 1999, 2000 and 2009.
Even though quiet seasons have happened before, it just seems weird. Part of this is because we have been so busy the last two years. In 2020, there were 31 tropical or subtropical cyclones. It was the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record. All but one cyclone became a named storm. Of the 30 named storms, 14 developed into hurricane, and a record-tying seven further intensified into major hurricanes.
And here we are today… with only three named storms so far.
The last named storm was Colin, and it fell apart on July 3rd.
Does this mean the forecast from the National Hurricane Center is wrong? No. It could simply be delayed.
Or it’s also possible this forecast doesn’t turn out as expected.
Either way… my thoughts and concerns don’t change because IT ONLY TAKES ONE STORM for a quiet season to become a catastrophe.
According to Philip Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher at Colorado State University, this marks the first time since 1982 that there hasn’t been a single named storm anywhere in the Atlantic between July 3rd and now. It’s happened five other times since 1950, making a quiet stretch this long leading up to peak season a roughly once-a-decade event.
Back in this 1982 season, there were only six named storms. None of them made landfall in the United States.
Now if we end the month of August without any named storms, this hasn’t been done since 1997. Before that, you have to go back to 1961 for a storm-free August. It also happened in 1941 and 1929.
But… we are watching a disturbance in the central Tropical Atlantic Ocean. It has a high chance of becoming a tropical depression later this week. So let’s see what happens in the next 48 hours or so…
Now the question is why has it been so quiet?
One theory is a lack of instability. There’s been a lot of warm Saharan air over the Atlantic Ocean. This dries things out, and you need moisture for storms to develop.
But weather models are hinting this trend could be ending. Just today alone we have four different disturbances we are watching… the already mentioned disturbance over the Central Tropical Atlantic, another one about 600 miles east of Bermuda, a third that’s moving off the coast of Africa and finally the fourth, which is over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.
(sources: National Hurricane Center, Colorado State University, NOAA, Washington Post, Getty Images)