Meteorologists continue the guessing game of how many tropical storms and hurricanes will form this year. To date the tropics have been relatively quiet as KTBS Meteorologist Neil Shaw examines in this Ark La Tex in depth report. About halfway through the 2013 hurricane season and thus far hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin are a no show. Speaking in historical terms this is the time of year when the number of tropical systems can take a quick up turn. Marty Mayeaux is a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service and has experience being a Hurricane Hunter. Mayeaux states "I flew from 2002 to 2008 including Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav." The date has moved past mid August no tropical storms have reached hurricane strength in the Atlantic Caribbean or gulf of Mexico. According to Mayeaux "All it takes is one storm to make a bad year for anyone. These seasons come and go and they vary. We think mid September is going to be the peak of our season." In a year over year comparison there were 12 named tropical systems by the late August time frame from of 2012. So far in 2013 there have been six named storms. A slow start is no indication that the predictions of an active season are a bust. A few of the tropical systems this that have formed this season have encountered an environment that was not conducive for sustained strengthening. A combination of wind shear, dry air aloft and cool sea surface temperatures. Mayeaux further explains "Very little activity in July simply because the air mass is pretty stable and the water temperatures have not caught up with those maximum temperatures we see in August and September."
Only one named tropical system has made landfall in the United States this year. "Andrea" which brought heavy rains and wind to the east coast. But to further the point that the hurricane game is not over for this year remember that superstorm Sandy occurred in late October of 2012. The National Hurricane Center is still holding it's outlook for a total of 13 to 19 named storms for 2013. As many as a half dozen of those storms could become major hurricanes.
Gary Chatelaine National Weather Service senior forecaster says "Well hurricane season runs through November and there is a reason for that because the water stays warm enough that long. I don't think hurricane season is over by a stretch."
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