The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been pretty run-of-the mill so far, but that may not last.
The National Hurricane Center database shows that 2013 has had five named storms through August 19 compared to a long-term average YTD of four named storms (discussion continues below graph):
Perhaps the most interesting statistic is the lack of hurricanes thus far in 2013. All five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic this year have been tropical storms.
The latest NOAA hurricane outlook released in early August forecasts:
>>> 13 to 19 named storms
>>> 6 to 9 of them hurricanes
>>> 3 to 5 of them major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater).
These numbers compare to a seasonal average of 12 named storms, six of which are hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Factors leading to the forecast for an active season include warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures and low wind shear over the tropics.
Tropical storm and hurricane activity peaks in early to mid September, and even October can be fairly active, so the seasonal outlook of more storms than normal could still easily come to pass – it’s just been rather average so far.