MIAMI, Oct. 23 (UPI) — Floridians and other coastal denizens have been mostly spared this storm season, which so far has yielded the fewest hurricanes since 1982, weather experts say.
There have been just two hurricanes since the season began June 1, and only eight tropical storms, the smallest number since 1997. In an average year, the Atlantic has 10 tropical storms and six hurricanes, USA Today reports.
Neither of the hurricanes and only one tropical storm, Claudette, came ashore in the United States. Tropical storms have winds between 39 and 73 mph. Greater than 73 mph, it’s a hurricane.
“It’s been pretty quiet. The primary thing to thank is the El Nino,” Phil Klotzbach, an atmospheric researcher, said. The “El Nino” phenomenon — warmer-than-normal water in the Pacific Ocean — produces weather in the Atlantic that reduces tropical waves off the African coast that can become hurricanes.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30, but experts urge caution. “It’s not over yet. Do not let your guard down. Do not start raiding your hurricane supplies,” Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International