Share This Page

Hurricane season's reluctant to begin

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

MIAMI —The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which forecasters had predicted would be more active than normal, has turned out to be something of a dud so far as an unusual calm hangs over the tropics.

As the season heads into the historic peak for activity, it may even enter the record books as marking the quietest start to any Atlantic hurricane season in decades.

“It certainly looks like pretty much of a forecast bust,” said Jeff Masters, a hurricane expert and director of meteorology at the Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com).

“Virtually all the (forecast) groups were calling for above-normal hurricanes and intensive hurricanes, and we haven't even had a hurricane at all, with the season half over,” Masters said.

With records going back to 1851, Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said there had been only 17 years when the first Atlantic hurricane formed after Sept. 4.

The all-time record was set in 1905, he said, when the first hurricane materialized on Oct. 8.

In an average season the first hurricane shows up by Aug. 10, usually followed by a second hurricane on Aug. 28 and the first major hurricane by Sept. 4.

Since the dawn of the satellite era in the mid-1960s, Feltgen said, the latest date for the first hurricane to arrive was set by Gustav when it made its debut on Sept. 11, 2002.

If this year's first hurricane comes anytime after 8 a.m. Wednesday, it would replace Gustav as the modern-day record holder, Feltgen said.

Seven named storms have been spawned by the 2013 season so far, including Fernand, which killed 13 people in central Mexico late last month.

Most of the storms have been small, weak systems, however.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.