Tornado Drought 2013 & Humberto — Our First Hurricane?
It’s Been A While. I don’t know many people who are complaining about a lack of tornadic activity this year (except perhaps the die-hard storm chasers among us). Our last tornado report was over a week ago on September 1st. Things have been quiet, but there’s still another push of severe weather yet to come this fall.
An Atypical Season. Usually, May and June are the most active months for tornado season, while December-February are the least active. Across the country, we average 1253 confirmed tornadoes each year.
A Nice Change of Pace. After an above-average season in 2012 and a very active season in 2011, our tornado numbers are trailing well-behind. We’ll see if we can keep it up!
Tropical Storm Humberto. Advisories are now being issued for Humberto, which is forecast to become a hurricane sometime mid-week. This storm will likely take a sharp turn northward, and does not appear to pose any threat to the lower 48 in the next week.
Numerous Names Used. We’re already on to our 8th named storm of the season, but the previous 7 were marginal tropical storms at best. However, it’s important to keep in mind that we’re only about halfway through Atlantic hurricane season.
Halftime Report. We’ve now reached the peak, or halfway point, of the Atlantic hurricane season. As you can see from the graph above, September and October typically see the most storms. After that, activity drops off more sharply. The National Hurricane Center says “It is a mistake to believe that the second half of the season would resemble the first half”. Read more via USA Today here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/09/07/quiet-hurricane-season/2776845/
Possible Record? If Humberto takes its time and doesn’t form until later this week, it would be the latest date the first Atlantic hurricane has ever formed. On average, we should have our first hurricane by mid-August. We are well-overdue.
Over-due For a Major Storm? It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a major hurricane make landfall here in the United States. The last time was Hurricane Wilma, during the active 2005 season. That puts our total at nearly 3,000 days since our last major hurricane. Not bad, but it’s only a matter of time until the next one arrives.
It’s Not Over Yet. NOAA continues to stand by it’s forecast for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. They call for 3-5 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher) and a total of 13-19 named systems. Many people continue to place their bets for the rest of the season — if you’ve got your own forecast, share it with us on Facebook!
Location Matters. Based on storm climatology, we’ll have to keep our eyes a little closer to home during September. Humberto is spinning away near the Cape Verde Islands off the African coast, and poses no threat to the U.S., but our next storm could very well form in the orange-shaded regions above based on previous seasons.
We’ll have the latest information on the tropical and severe weather seasons all day long on www.weathernationtv.com/OnTV. Hope you have a great rest of your Monday! -Meteorologist Miranda Hilgers