The 2009 Hurricane Season got off to a late start with Tropical Storm Ana developing
after mid-August. The late start of the hurricane season should have been an indication
of just how quiet the season would be. Once the El Nino cycle started to strengthen by late
in the year, our tropical season was on course to be the quietest since 1997.
This happens to coincide with another moderate El Nino cycle.
We saw only two major hurricanes, Bill, a category four hurricane, and Fred, a
category three cyclone. Fortunately, these stayed in the Atlantic with only two storms arriving in the
Gulf this year. Tropical Storm Claudette formed early in the year impacting the Florida-Alabama
region and Tropical Storm Ida came ashore near Mobile, Alabama.
Jill Hasling, of the Weather Research Center, is forecasting a higher risk of storms along the Gulf for 2010.
The west coast of Florida has a 90% risk of of a tropical cyclone with the east coast of Florida coming in at 70%.
Although the Gulf saw only two storms this year, the best policy is to be ready for 2010. Channel 11 will be there to
get you through the season.