Least active start to the Atlantic hurricane season in 30 years

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Another day without a named storm in the Atlantic. Nothing new, right? More than 50 days have passed since the last named storm existed. It’s one of the longest inactive streaks in modern history.

2022 is now officially the quietest start to an Atlantic hurricane season in three decades. If things continue to stay quiet it’s possible 2022 goes down as a record-holder.

This year has been remarkably quiet in the Atlantic compared to normal.
This year has been remarkably quiet in the Atlantic compared to normal.(Colorado State University)

One way to measure how active — or inactive — a hurricane season has been is by looking at something called accumulated cyclone energy. For the sake of saving time, I’ll refer to accumulated cyclone energy as ACE.

ACE takes into consideration the number of storms that form, how strong they get and how long they last. All of those components added together results in a number referred to as accumulated cyclone energy (ACE).

A typical hurricane season features about 122 ACE. That number comes from averaging the amount of ACE that occurred each year from 1991 to 2020. By August 26th the average Atlantic hurricane season generates 26.7 ACE. This year through August 26th? A measly 2.9 ACE.

Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) by year since 2007.
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) by year since 2007.(WSFA 12 News)

Unless September, October and November produce very, very active conditions in the tropics it will be extremely difficult to reach 122 ACE. As we always say, a quiet start to the hurricane season does not necessarily translate to a quiet ending. It’s possible the next three months are hyperactive. It’s possible they wind up being rather average. It’s also possible that things stay more quiet than normal.

Depending on how things pan out this could be one the quietest hurricane seasons in modern history. Over the last 15 years only 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2015 wound up quieter than normal.

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Two areas with a "low" chance of developing in the Atlantic over the next week.
Two areas with a “low” chance of developing in the Atlantic over the next week.(WSFA 12 News)

So what’s going out in the tropics right now? Not much. There are two areas being monitored by the National Hurricane Center; one is entering the Caribbean, the other is coming off Africa in the far eastern Atlantic.

Both having “low” chances of developing into at least a tropical depression per the latest update. I will say the potential does exist for those chances to increase as days pass by as a handful of forecast models do suggest development with one or both of these systems.

Over the next week or so it will be important to watch the evolution of both systems. Right now there are no concerns for any part of the U.S. coastline. This could change depending on what happens as August wraps up. Of course we will be on top of it and let you know the latest!

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