As the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season comes to a close, it may be easy to dismiss the significance of this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s season.
While itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s true that this year had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, the 2013 hurricane season was only the third below-normal season in the last 19 years, since 1995, when the current high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes began, according to forecasters.
A NOAA press release quotes Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service:
A combination of conditions acted to offset several climate patterns that historically have produced active hurricane seasons. As a result, we did not see the large numbers of hurricanes that typically accompany these climate patterns.Ã¢â‚¬
A total of 13 named storms formed in the Atlantic basin this year, NOAA reports, but only two, Ingrid and Humberto, became hurricanes. Neither of these storms became a major hurricane (Category 3, winds of 111-129 mph and above).
Although the number of named storms was above the average of 12, the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were well below their averages of six and three, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and the Florida Insurance Council (FIC) remind us that while Florida has escaped hurricane damage for eight consecutive years, insurers are prepared for the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s severe weather history to repeat itself.
Check out I.I.I. facts and statistics on hurricanes.