October 26, 2009

Fewer storms

The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season is on track to be the quietest since 1982.

Two hurricanes have formed since the season began June 1, the fewest since 1982, National Hurricane Center records show. Eight tropical storms grew strong enough to get names, the lowest number of such storms since 1997.

No hurricanes and just one of this year's tropical storms, Claudette, came ashore in the USA. Claudette formed suddenly in the Gulf of Mexico and moved through the Florida Panhandle Aug. 16 and 17.

"It's not over yet. Do not let your guard down," says Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami. "Do not start raiding your hurricane supplies."

Hurricane season ends Nov. 30, but peaks from late August until mid-October. A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms and wind 39 mph to 73 mph. To be a hurricane, winds must exceed 73 mph.

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