Tropics reaching peak
Thus far, as forecasted, the tropical season has been relatively quiet. There have been three named storms, Arthur, Bertha, and Cristobal, two of which achieved hurricane status, and likely Cristobal as well in the coming days. On average, by the final week of August, there are four named storms with at least one reaching hurricane strength.
The 2013 hurricane season was fairly quiet as well. By the end of August 2013, there were up to six named storms. Coastal residents realize how thin such stats can be, because Andrew was the first named storm in 1992, and it didn't even strike Louisiana until August 26th.
Officially, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration classifies a below-normal season as a season with four to nine tropical storms, two to four hurricanes, and zero to two major hurricanes. So far, the Atlantic Basin is well below those numbers. In a normal year there are around 12 tropical storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. Typically, there is not a major hurricane until early September.
With that said, late August through the end of September marks the peak of hurricane season. Historically speaking, August finds a dramatic increase in tropical activity, as we approach the historical peak of action near September 11th. Development can be expected further east into the Atlantic and closer to Africa as tropical waves progress westward.
Below average or not, residents of the Gulf States should continue to prepare as usual during hurricane season, because it only takes one.
You can get forecasts from Meteorologist Robert Gauthreaux III weekends on News 2 at 5:30, 6 and 10. Additionally, you can get the fastest and latest forecasts and weather news by checking in with wbrz.com/weather, liking Robert on Facebook and following him on Twitter.