Tropics: Atlantic pitches rare shutout in August

No tropical development during the month

ORLANDO, Fla. – For only the third time since 1950, no tropical depressions, storms or hurricanes formed in the Atlantic during the month of August. What is typically one of the more active months of hurricane season saw zero storms.

To kick off September, Tropical Storm Danielle formed in the North Atlantic.

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Danielle becomes the first system in the Atlantic Basin since Tropical Storm Colin dissipated near North Carolina on July 3. Typically, the fourth named storm of the season forms around Aug. 15. To date, no hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic, but Danielle is forecast to become one as early as Thursday night.

The number of tropical storm and hurricane days for the Atlantic Basin (the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico) jumps markedly by mid-August (NOAA) (NOAA)

Unusually robust dry air and wind shear have continued to keep the Atlantic basin hostile for tropical development. What makes this quiet stretch even more impressive is the fact that it is happening during a La Nina season. La Nina typically promotes above-average seasons by limiting wind shear and increasing thunderstorms in the Atlantic Basin.

The only other years since 1950 to have no tropical cyclones in the Atlantic during the month of August was 1961 and 1997.

Hurricane stats

1961 went on to be a hyperactive season with three major hurricanes developing in the first two weeks of September. The 1997 season remained relatively quite with only three more named storms for the rest of the season.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.