At the beginning of the year, long-range forecasters were in full agreement that conditions were right for a slow, quiet hurricane season in the Atlantic. Perhaps by coincidence, the forecasters were right this time: The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the least active in years.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune noted the end of the season here (see: "Quiet 2014 Atlantic hurricane season ends Sunday with 6 hurricanes, 2 major; only 1 U.S. hit," by Mark Schleifstein). "The end of the season will mark the second consecutive quiet year for our region since 2012, when Hurricane Isaac flooded hundreds of homes across parts of our area," remarked the paper. "The season's tally of storms was also below the average for the years 1981 through 2010, in which seasons averaged 12 named storms per years, including six hurricanes of which three were major hurricanes. Forecasters and climate scientists, however, warned that two quiet years give no indication of what the future may bring."
In Florida, the hurricane-free streak has reached a statistically improbably length. The Miami Herald reports, "It has now been nine years since a hurricane made landfall in the Sunshine State, nearly double the previous record run without a strike." (See: "Another hurricane season, minus the hurricanes," by Zac Anderson.)
"As this hurricane season ends on Nov. 30, experts say there is no simple explanation for this extended run of good fortune," the Herald reported. Said Colorado State University weather expert Phil Klotzbach, "Florida has been very, very lucky. Hopefully that luck will continue."
Whatever forces may have caused the slow Atlantic season, they certainly were not in play worldwide, scientists note. Even as the undramatic Atlantic season ended with an anti-climax, the Pacific basin was experiencing another in a season-long string of monster typhoons, many of which have come on shore and done significant damage. Typhoon Hagupit reached Category 5 strength in the Pacific as it neared landfall in the Philippine Islands, and came onshore at Category 3 strength, killing 27 people and forcing a million to evacuate, Accuweather reported (see: More Than One Million Evacuated as Deadly Hagupit Lashes Philippines," by Eric Leister). Hagupit is the 11th typhoon of the year.