2013 hurricane season a quiet one for the Lowcountry, U.S.
By Sonya Stevenssstevens@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Another hurricane season has come and gone here in the Lowcountry and we lucked out, but we aren't the only ones that didn't have to deal with a hurricane this year.
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season had the fewest number of storms since 1982. There were 13 named storms, which is above the average of 12, but there were only two hurricanes. Hurricane Humberto only impacted the Cape Verde Islands and impacts were minimal. Hurricane Ingrid impacted the Yucatan Peninsula and Mexico, killed 20 people, and caused over $1 billion in damage. Both storms were category one hurricanes, which means there were no major hurricanes this year (Category 3 or higher).
Overall, the year is ranked the sixth least active season in the Atlantic since 1950 when taking into account the strength and duration of all the storms.
2013 was also the third below-normal season in the last 19 years when the current high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes began.
But why was it such a quiet season?
"A combination of conditions acted to offset several climate patterns that historically have produced active hurricane seasons," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "As a result, we did not see the large numbers of hurricanes that typically accompany these climate patterns."
Two of the main culprits were dry, sinking air and strong vertical wind shear -- both prevent storms from strengthening or developing at all.
And not only was it a quiet season overall, it was a quiet season for the United States.
The first storm of the season, Tropical Storm Andrea, was the only system to make landfall in the country but it was one responsible for one death. It brought tornadoes, heavy rain, and minor flooding to portions of Florida, eastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina. Here in the Lowcountry we received anywhere from 1 to 7 inches of rain and had strong, gusty winds.
While we are out of the woods for now, there is no telling what the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season will bring to the United States or to our area. We will just have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
NOAA will issue its outlook for next year's hurricane season in late May.