Opinions of the Atlantic hurricane season presumably would differ greatly depending on perspective.
For homeowners and insurers, the season’s inactivity was welcomed. For hurricane prognosticators like the well-known duo at Colorado State University, the season was a dud.
“It was one of the largest busts for our research team in the 30 years we’ve been issuing this report,” says Phil Klotzbach, CSU research and author of annually anticipated reports from the university on projected Atlantic hurricanes, in a statement.
This year—the quietest for hurricanes since 1995 and the first time in nearly two decades there wasn’t a single major storm (Category 3 or greater)—Klotzbach and mentor William Gray struck out, but they know it comes with the territory.
In April the team predicted 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes for the 2013 season.
The Atlantic Ocean produced 13 named storms, two hurricanes and no major hurricanes. Two hurricanes is the fewest during a hurricane season since the same amount formed in 1982.
CSU’s April report showed a good probability—72 percent—of a major hurricane making a U.S. landfall. In all, there were a mere 3.75 hurricane days in 2013. CSU’s initial forecast predicted 40 days, adjusted to 35 days in an August update. The last major hurricane to hit the U.S. was Wilma in 2005.
“These seasonal forecasts should be judged on their overall track record of success, not on a single or a few unsuccessful seasonal forecasts,” Klotzbach adds.