The 1982 hurricane season was the last year the Atlantic had no tropical storms or hurricanes from July 15 to August 19. (Image credit: NASA/ NHC Atlantic Hurricane Database)
The dead-quiet hurricane season is getting attention from experts who wonder just how unprecedented it is to have had no named storms during both the second half of July and the first half of August.
The last named storm was Barry, which expired on July 14. The National Hurricane Center is predicting no tropical development through at least August 19. The last time there were no storms in the Atlantic from July 15 to August 19 was 1982, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Philip Klotzbach.
That year, there were only six named storms; two of them occurred in June, and there were three in September. There were three unnamed tropical depressions that year; this season so far there has been one.
Forecast models have been suggesting the possibility of this quiet period lasting all the way through the end of the month. How unusual is that?
A quiet tropical period from July 15 to August 31 happened only twice since hurricane records began in 1851, Klotzbach said in a Twitter post. That was in 1914 and 1922.
In 1914, only one tropical storm formed all season, and that was on September 15. One and done, with no hurricanes. It was the slowest tropical storm season on record.
The 1922 season had five tropical storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane, along with nine depressions that never made it to tropical storm status.
The lack of tropical storm formation is particularly noteworthy this year, since an El Niño in the Pacific ended and NOAA hiked its seasonal outlook on August 4 to as many as 17 named storms. The NOAA range was 10-17, making the average 13.5 — still an above-average season.
El Niño zaps tropical development by producing high wind shear in the Atlantic. That’s been one of the big issues this season, an indication that atmospheric conditions haven’t yet caught up with changes in tropical Pacific.
RAINFALL REPORT: Another day, another Flood Watch. Florida’s Southeast Coast is under a Flood Watch Thursday until 8 p.m., as is the West Coast from Cedar Key south to Fort Myers. Things may dry out a bit over the weekend as high pressure moves over the state, but forecasters say there’s enough moisture in the air to keep rain chances up to 50 percent, focused on interior areas.
Tampa set a precipitation record Wednesday with 2.59 inches of rain. It broke the old record for August 14 of 2.11 inches set in 2013. Several CoCoRaHS observers in Hillsborough County reported close to 4 inches. And an observer in Hernando County, west of Brooksville, measured 5.43 inches.
RECORD WATCH: In the Keys, Marathon reported a record warm low on Wednesday of 85 degrees. That beat the previous record of 84 set in 2010 and 2017. Orlando tied a record warm low with 77, matching the mark last set in 2016.