Each year we are treated to a barrage of predictions from noted hurricane experts about how active a hurricane season we will have in the Atlantic basin which includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. This year, the predictions were rather dire with some calling for more activity than we've had since 2005, the year of Katrina and Rita.
Thus far, however, bupkis. Despite all the predictions, we are closer to a normal year of 10 to 11 named storms, with two tropical storms and one hurricane (Alex) in the first two-and-a-half months of the 2010 season, than we are to 2005, which produced a record number of named storms.
So, Atlantic, why so lame?
Simply put, weather is weird and complicated. Factors that normally influence hurricane development like water temperatures and winds in the atmosphere are extremely unpredictable. Just getting a weather forecast for the weekend on a Thursday is difficult enough. Trying to come up with how many hurricanes will develop in a season is damn near impossible, but they keep making the predictions and people keep listening.
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Now, experts are saying that despite a slow season, things are about to ramp up.
One of the foremost hurricane experts Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground explains: "August 18 historically marks the point where Atlantic hurricane activity makes a major spike upwards. On average, we can expect to see two named storms and one hurricane during the last half of August."
So, don't use up all your margarita mix just yet. You'll probably need it when a storm blows through and you have that hurricane party at the beach house. Oh, and a little Scorpions never hurt either.