NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season packed lots of storms, but not much punch.
A season’s ACE value, or accumulated cyclone energy, considers each storm’s maximum wind speed every six hours. An average hurricane season produces an ACE value between 66 and 111, but this year’s ace value is 30 reflecting a relatively weak bunch of storms.
Only two of the 13 named storms were hurricanes and one of which, Humberto, arrived historically late in the season and just sort of spun around in the Atlantic.
The only storm to even hit the East Coast was Tropical Storm Andrea, but with little to no significance other than attracting the attention of Good Morning America Meteorologist Ginger Zee.
So why has this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season been so unimpressive? There are two major contributing factors: Tropical storms get torn apart by dry air, and there was a lot of that to go around this season.
Winds off the coast of West Africa blew dust and dry air from the Sahara Desert over the Atlantic waters. Also, a drought in Brazil led to an increase in dry air from the Southern Hemisphere.
But even during a quiet Atlantic hurricane season, one tropical system still made a lot of noise on the other side of the globe. Super Typhoon Haiyan blew through the Philippines and claimed thousands of lives. It was one of the strongest storms in recorded history.