August 17, 2006
This year's hurricane season hasn't been much so far. That's a good thing, considering what happened last year.
However, don't relax just yet.
By this time last year there were already nine tropical storms. By the end of the season we racked up 28 named storms. So far this season we've been lucky, but the worst is not over.
The hurricane season's peak is rapidly approaching. We see the most hurricanes from September 1 to around the 15th.
The Punxsutawney Phil of hurricane predicting, Dr. William Gray, has predicted an above average hurricane season for the Atlantic seaboard in his August report. However, it is not quite as active as first thought.
Here's a couple of reasons why.
First, there's been above average sea level pressure over the Atlantic, meaning the Bermuda High has been especially strong.
The trade winds have been stronger than normal as well. This creates shear and tears storms apart.
The third reason is because of sea surface temperatures. They have been on the low side, which hinders tropical development.
Dr. Gray says we'll still see an active year, with 15 named storms, three of them being Category 3 or higher. But we know all it takes is one to make us remember this season.
There have been three tropical storms so far this season.
The average is 11 named storms a year.