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No named Atlantic storms in August, 1st time in 25 years

Moving image of sun appearing on globe over Atlantic with whirling storm.
As the sun rose over the ocean on September 1, 2022, there were still no named Atlantic storms. However, the disturbance swirling at the upper edge of the image on the right quickly became Tropical Storm Danielle. NOAA said it should develop a hurricane in about 2 days. Image via NOAA.

No named Atlantic storms in August

For the first time since 1997, the Atlantic basin did not have any named storms in the month of August. And it’s only the third time since 1961 that this has happened. But that doesn’t mean this quiet weather pattern will last. As dawn’s light shone upon the Atlantic on the morning of September 1, 2022, it came upon Tropical Depression 5, which became Tropical Storm Danielle later in the day. NOAA said it should become Hurricane Danielle within a couple days. The good news is the storm is churning up in the North Atlantic away from land.

Besides the new Tropical Storm Danielle, the National Hurricane Center is also monitoring other areas of interest in the Atlantic. One region of disturbance is slowly moving toward the Caribbean and has a 60% chance to form into a tropical depression over the next 48 hours, and an 80% chance in the next five days.

You can check the current situation for active disturbances yourself at any time at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center website.

Predicting Atlantic storms for the rest of the season

What does this slow start mean for the rest of the hurricane season? Well, past events don’t help draw any conclusions. In 1997 when August was free of named storms, the entire season was below average in activity. However, in 1961 when August was also free of named storms, the season was hyperactive between September and November. Two of the later season storms, Esther and Hattie, both reached category 5, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

So while we can’t draw any conclusions yet for what our quiet August foretells for the rest of the season, it’s always smart to keep an eye on the weather, especially if you live in coastal regions.

Chart showing which named storms hit when in 1961.
These were all the named storms during the 1961 hurricane season. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific…

Things may be slow in the Atlantic, but not so for the Pacific. The typhoon season has been above average in the Pacific. And the most recent typhoon, Hinnamnor, is the strongest so far. Meteorologists predict it will pass south of Japan and lose strength as it becomes nearly stationary in the northern Philippine Sea.

La Nina reigns

Meteorologists said it looks like we’re facing the third La Nina year in a row. It would be the first time this century that La Nina conditions persisted for three straight years during a Northern Hemisphere winter and Southern Hemisphere summer.

La Nina conditions cause warm water to push toward Asia, while near the Americas, cold water upwells from the deep to take its place. This cold water in the Eastern Pacific pushes the jet stream northward, meaning more drought for the southern United States. It also means heavier rains for the Pacific Northwest and Canada. La Nina usually means more hurricanes in the Atlantic, but we have yet to see that play out this year.

Bottom line: There were no named Atlantic storms for August, but activity in the Atlantic basin is picking up. New Tropical Storm Danielle appeared on September 1, 2022, and should strengthen to a hurricane in a couple days.

Read more: Hurricane names for 2022: Is yours on the list?

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