JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Forecasters with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration predicted a "very active" storm season for 2013, but so far it has been very much the opposite.
"We are kind of far off," said Scott Cordero, Meteorologist In Charge for the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.
Cordero says all the right factors were there when, in May, NOAA predicted up to 20 named storms between June 1 and November 30. When Tropical Storm Andrea hit Northeast Florida two weeks later, it seemed forecasters were right on track, but since then the tropics have been quiet.
"We've had brushes here and there but nothing notable, and that's due to a couple of extreme factors that are very difficult to predict."
Cordero says hurricanes are like engines, and high winds with high altitudes, called wind shears interrupted any storms development.
"When that exhaust is disrupted by the westerly winds it cuts off the engine that makes the storm go."
Second, Cordero says two extraordinarily large sand and dust storms developed over Africa, and essentially sucked up the all moisture in the air.
While it's good news for Florida, Cordero says we're not out of the woods just yet, and business and homeowners shouldn't let their guards down because those two factors are about to change.
"We're entering our most active 40 days portion of hurricane season, and 85 percent of storms occur between August 15 and October 15. I wouldn't doubt that in the next couple of weeks that's things start heating up across the Atlantic. "
At approximately 8 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2002, the record for the longest stretch from the beginning of hurricane season to the time a hurricane developed was set. Before satellites were used the record was set on Oct. 11, 1846.
The National Weather Service tells Action News that despite the lack of storm activity, they are still in contact with the emergency operations centers in each of our local counties on a daily basis.