Hurricane season 2013 is in the books, and it goes down as one of the quietest in about 30 years.
Hurricane season kicked off on what appeared to be a troubling note for Floridians. Tropical Storm Andrea, the first named storm of the season, brought heavy rain, gusty winds and at least one tornado to the sunshine state. Andrea was the only named storm to make landfall in the United States.
This season goes down as the least active in about 30 years, with only two hurricanes, Ingrid and Humberto. Neither were major hurricanes.
A total of 13 storms formed. The average is 12. Typically we see about six hurricanes, with three of those becoming major storms of category 3 or stronger.
In early October, the panhandle prepared for the arrival of Tropical Storm Karen. Initial forecasts indicated the potential Karen could strengthen into a hurricane. But thank to strong upper level winds, the storm lost tropical characteristics before moving onshore near Pensacola.
The last hurricane to hit Florida was Wilma during the historic 2005 season. 2005 was the busiest on record. Wilma moved onshore near Cape Romano, causing $29 million in damage.
Our quiet season this year is attributed to a few things. Dry, stable air with strong upper level winds dominated much of the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and Atlantic basin.
Tropical waves originate off the coast of Africa, where this year we saw an unusually high amount of dry, Saharan dust in the atmosphere.
Hurricane Season 2014 begins June 1.