It’s been quiet this hurricane season — too quiet. Back in May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a “very active” tropical-storm season, one with between seven and 11 hurricanes. The agency lowered that estimate in August to between six and nine hurricanes, but still predicted that three to five of them would become major storms, with winds above 111 m.p.h.
We’re now a day away from the exact midpoint of the Atlantic hurricane season, the period when storm activity is historically at its strongest — Sept. 10 — and so far we’ve experienced … nothing. While there have been a handful of tropical storms, we have yet to see a single hurricane — a tropical cyclone with sustained winds of at least 74 m.p.h. This is extremely unusual, and if the calm continues, 2013 could rival 2002, which didn’t experience its first hurricane until Sept. 11. What gives?