JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Since we have had no hurricanes thus far this year as of August 14th one of the most asked questions has been, "Does that mean the rest of the season will be calm, or will we have more storms?" A better question to ask though, is this season really that much below average?
The last time we had no hurricanes through mid-august was in 2017 with Hurricane Franklin. But on average we typically only see one hurricane in the Atlantic through August 11th. So thus far we we have only been slightly calmer than average.
Does that mean the rest of the season will be calm? The answer is probably not. If we look at seasons that were similarly up to this point we have hurricane Mitch in 1998 and Andrew in 1992 both formed late in the season following a calm start.
These stats from Brian McNoldy a Senior research associate at the University Miami shows this clearly. He uses ACE or Accumulated cyclone energy. It's a metric used to measure the total amount of energy a storm puts out during it's entire lifetime. Noting the years which had similar seasonal ACE up to this point.
Many factors that go into creating a hurricane but one thing that could help fuel up these storms is warm and above average sea surface temperatures. With active tropical seasons you get a lot of upwelling which can bring cooler waters from below up to the surface thus reducing the amount of available energy for these storms. Yet when that does not occur our oceans have the ability to heat up and thus provide more potential energy. But this is one of many factors.
So it feel calm, especially since Florida has not been hit since 2018 with Hurricane Michael. But with the peak of Hurricane Season still less than a month away the National Hurricane Center continues to expect above average tropical systems this year.