The sluggish Atlantic hurricane season is likely to be the first since 2002 without a hurricane by September 1. So far this season there have been six relatively weak tropical storms, and no hurricanes. There are a couple of tropical waves that the National Hurricane Center is monitoring, but neither is expected to become a hurricane before the end of August.
The first hurricane of the season has formed on or after September 1 only 25 times in the past 161 years. Since the satellite era began in the mid-1960s, there have only been five years without a hurricane by August 31. The last time a hurricane failed to form before September 1 was in 2002 when Hurricane Gustav formed on September 11.
|Year||First hurricane||Total hurricanes|
|2012||Chris – June 21||10|
|2011||Irene – August 22||6|
|2010||Alex – June 29||12|
|2009||Bill – August 17||3|
|2008||Bertha – July 7||8|
|2007||Dean – August 16||6|
|2006||Ernesto – August 27||5|
|2005||Cindy – July 5||15|
|2004||Alex – August 3||9|
|2003||Claudette – July 10||7|
|2002||Gustav – September 11||4|
|2001||Erin – September 8||9|
|2000||Alberto – August 5||8|
While the late-arriving hurricane is a rarity, it may not be an indicator of how many storms will form before the end of the season. In 2001, Hurricane Erin formed on September 8 and was followed by eight more hurricanes before season’s end.
A big limiting factor this August was a lot of dry air and dust from the Sahara Desert in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. As September nears, the dry air has moved far enough north to allow for some development of the tropical waves that are propagating westward off the coast of Africa.
The Right Weather Hurricane Season Outlook will be updated this weekend for Right Weather Pro members.