Atlantic Hurricane Season Ends Today
UPDATED November 30, 2013
By WeatherBug's Luke Paris
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season comes to a close today. A total of 13 named storms and two hurricanes highlighted the season. The season began right on cue with tropical formation in the first week of June while peaking in September and dropping off rapidly in October.
Officially beginning on June 1, the 2013 hurricane season saw its first named storm, Tropical Storm Andrea, on June 5. Forming in the southern Gulf of Mexico, Andrea raced northeastward, making landfall on Florida`s Panhandle and continuing inland over Georgia and South Carolina before becoming extra tropical. This was the only storm of the season to make an official landfall in the U.S. Andrea brought a deluge to the Southeast, where rainfall totals peaked at over 13 inches in southern Florida. The system led to the production of several small tornadoes across Florida and Cuba, as well as four fatalities. Not long after the dissipation of Andrea did Tropical Storm Barry form, trekking through Central America and Mexico. The storm delivered flooding that killed five but ultimately caused minimal structural and property damage.
As the season progressed into the month of July, Tropical Storms Chantal and Dorian formed only two weeks apart. Tropical Storm Chantal formed on July 7 and while initially showing features of poor development, the storm tracked westward, reaching maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and zipping through the deep tropics at 30 mph but eventually dissipated after killing one person in Maimon, Dominican Republic. Similarly, Tropical Storm Dorian, which formed on July 23, moved westward from the Cape Verde Islands with a strong chance of development, but became the victim of powerful wind shear and dry air east of Florida.
In August, two systems formed, neither of which became a hurricane, making the 2013 hurricane season the first season since 2002 to lack a hurricane in the season's third month. Tropical Storm Erin formed in mid-August but only stirred up the waters off the coast of Africa and it never made landfall. Conversely, the short-lived Tropical Storm Fernand formed and made landfall in Veracruz, Mexico, killing 13 people and causing widespread power outages, then frittered away by August 26.
The most active month of the 2013 hurricane season was September, with a total of four storms forming, two of which being the season`s only hurricanes. The two tropical storms, Gabrielle and Jerry, and one of the hurricanes, Hurricane Humberto, never made landfall and only whipped and whisked the Atlantic waters. On the other hand, Hurricane Ingrid, a category 1 hurricane that formed on September 12, did make landfall and proceeded to wreak havoc along the eastern Mexican coast. Rapidly strengthening to a hurricane with winds clocked in at 85 mph, Hurricane Ingrid made landfall near La Pesca, Mexico, bringing torrential downpours that triggered numerous landslides. In total, 41 people died from direct and indirect causes and more than 20,000 residents were evacuated. By September 16, Ingrid weakened after making landfall and continued inland as a remnant low.
October proved to be anticlimactic with only two tropical storms forming, neither making landfall. Tropical Storm Karen formed in the Gulf of Mexico with the potential for strengthening and a track leading to landfall along the Gulf Coast in the U.S., but eventually was stalled and ripped apart before it could do so. On October 21, Tropical Storm Lorenzo formed off the coast of Bermuda but was ravaged by strong wind shear three days later.
The last storm of the season, Tropical Storm Melissa, formed a couple hundred miles from the Azores on November 18 and quickly intensified as it tracked northeastward. Cold ocean waters weakened the system north of the Azores and it lost all tropical characteristics by November 21.
While the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season was relatively tame, it is proof that even the quietest of hurricane seasons can still produce storms capable of causing extreme property damage and death.
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Story image: Satellite image of Hurricane Ingrid in the Gulf of Mexico.
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