Slow Start to Atlantic Hurricane Season

Posted on August 1, 2009

The Atlantic hurricane season could not be off to a slower start with zero named storms through July. However, as the Miami Herald points out in this article it is not unusual. We are only just now heading into the most active part of the season.
"Yes, it seems slow compared to the last couple of years, but this is nothing out of the ordinary," said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in West Miami-Dade County.

Many a hurricane season has started slowly, only to accelerate right about now. In 2004, for instance, the first named storm didn't pop up until the last day of July.

"That was the same year that had Charlie, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne," Feltgen said. "We ended up with 15 named storms."

Think back to 1992, when the first tropical storm formed Aug. 17. In a week's time, it morphed into Hurricane Andrew and steamrolled across South Miami-Dade as the last Category 5 storm to hit the United States.

Even with the slow start it would not be unlikely to have seven storms by the end of October. That in fact is the average. The seasonal averages of named storms per month for the upcoming months - according to Wikipedia - are 2.2 for August, 3.0 for September and 1.8 for October. The chart below from NOAA shows that the bulk of tropical storms occur in August, September and October.

Chart showing number of hurricanes per month on average

Image: NOAA


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