2013 hurricane season ahead of schedule - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

2013 hurricane season ahead of schedule

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel Five) - So far this hurricane season, we have the months of June and most of July behind us, and we have had four named storms.

In June, we saw Andrea and Barry. So far in July, we've had Chantal and Dorian. Forecasters called for an active season, so how are we looking so far?

"We're already off to a pretty quick start. Every season has some ebbs and flows to it. In fact the last couple of weeks have been relatively quiet, but when you realize the average fourth named storm arrives rouge around September the third, we're running about five to six weeks ahead of schedule for what we could call an average season," said Louisiana State Climatologist, Dr. Barry Keim.

In fact, Dorian is only the fourth storm to form in the far eastern Atlantic during July since at least 1851. This includes Anna in '69, Alex in '98, and Bertha in '08.

 If you do the math, only 11 hurricane seasons have had 4 named storms by the end of July, which puts this season around the top 7% so far. So the question is--why?

 "The sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean are running well above normal and that has been the case for the most part since about the year 1995. And almost every year since 95 has had hyperactivity in terms of above normal frequencies of storms with a couple of exceptions and those exceptions are when we have El Niño years," said Keim.

 El Niño years create very hostile conditions in the atmosphere for hurricanes, unlike La Niña, which is what we are experiencing now.

 "In Louisiana, we always have to be prepared for a busy season, and all it takes is one storm obviously to mess up your whole year. Of course we've been hit by really bad storms in relatively quiet years.for example 1969 was quiet when Camille came through, 1965 was quiet when got hit by Hurricane Betsy, and Hurricane Andrew  year, 1992, that was also another very quiet year," explained Keim.

Since technology has improved since 1861, including the introduction of satellite, there are some storms that we will never have known existed.

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