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Slow hurricane season is trouble?
danny thurs morning
The closest any storm came to us this year has been Danny on Aug. 28. - photo by NOAA graphic
No news isn’t always good news — especially when it comes to hurricane season. Many weather experts say a mild season, like the one about to come to a close, sometimes means a tumultuous season the following year.
According to statistics reported by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the 2008 hurricane season was above average in terms of activity. There were 16 named storms, five of which became major hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin.
“In terms of accumulated cyclone energy (based on integrated wind power of all tropical cyclones during the season, both land-falling and those remaining out at sea), 2008 ranked as the 16th most energetic season out of the last 59,” a statement on the NOAA Web site reported.
This year, however, the numbers are down — way down. So far, the Atlantic region has seen about eight named storms, none of which were major hurricanes.
“It’s very bizarre,” said Mike Hodges, director of the Hinesville Liberty County Emergency Agency. “This has been the first year in a long time that it’s been such an uneventful hurricane season.”
Hodges said with about two weeks left in the official season, there’s still reason to be alert, but the peak is mostly over.
While this is good news for coastal residents, Hodges said the slow season could be an indicator of more tumultuous weather patterns in the future.
“To have a year this uneventful, plus there’s enough of a pattern that has made all the storms go northwest, indicates there a different pattern in place,” Hodges said.
Maintaining that predicting next year’s storm pattern is a difficult task, he said it’s a common thought among meteorologists that a slow year is commonly followed by a more active year.
“We don’t know whether that will bring it us or to the Gulf, so we call it us,” Hodges said of preparation and management issues. He said even if it hits the gulf, they still pull resources to help out.
Hodges said to expect cooling trends as the season wears on and an el nino pattern affects regional weather.
“We’re getting a quickly cooling trend,” Hodges said “We’re expecting a colder and wetter fall hence a lot of the stuff that has been going on in Atlanta.”
While flooding issues continue to plague other parts of the state, he said it hasn’t affected this area yet.
“Here in Liberty, we’re in pretty good shape. We don’t usually flood from trickle-down effect,” Hodges said.
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