With apologies to Billy Joel, I doubt anyone along the Texas coastline is as sad to see hurricane season go as he was to part with Los Angeles, but for several weeks now, hurricane season for our neck of the woods has been done. And while hurricane season officially runs through the end of November, the entire Atlantic Basin has had a dud of a year when it comes to tropical weather.
According to an expert from Texas A&M's Department of Atmospheric Sciences, dry air has mainly been the culprit, but we still managed 11 named storms thus far even if there haven't been any large hurricanes or landfalls.
"We started off the season with several back in June and July, but then August and September, usually the most active months, were very slow," explains TAMU storm expert Robert Korty in a press release.
"If you had to point to one reason, it would be dry air. The dry air coming across the Atlantic from Africa prevented a lot of storms from developing during August, and the ones that did develop were not very strong. So the result has been a hurricane season of about normal in number of storms, but these have been relatively weak ones so far."
That still doesn't fully explain the lack of total hurricanes. Only two storms have managed hurricane strength this year and neither was major (Category 3 or above).
For those of us along the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Seaboard, we can live with those results. This year was the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Ike and last year saw "Super Storm" Sandy do massive damage in New York and New Jersey.
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In fact, the Pacific has been relatively quiet as well.
"It's been a slow year in the Atlantic, but also in the Pacific," Korty said.
"The conditions this year have just not been favorable for storms to develop, and that's a good thing. We have been very lucky the past few years."
Of course, when June 1 rolls around next year, we'll have to start this process all over again, but, for now, we can appreciate a quiet year in the tropics.