On November 30, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will close the books on the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. With only 13 named storms in the Atlantic basin, 2013 had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982 and ranks as the sixth-least-active season since 1950.
NOAA is attributing the dip in hurricane production to unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. “A combination of conditions acted to offset several climate patterns that historically have produced active hurricane seasons,” explained NOAA's lead seasonal hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell. “As a result, we did not see the large numbers of hurricanes that typically accompany these climate patterns.”
Only one tropical storm, Andrea, made landfall in the United States, causing one fatality. NOAA and the U.S. Air Force flew only 45 aircraft reconnaissance missions over the course of the season, totaling 435 hours, the lowest number since 1966.