Hurricanes, 2013 what happened?
Hurricane season has come to an end.
Remember this story? Verge
In particular the opening article opens with a thrilling paragraph:
As if the devastation wrought by last year's Hurricane Sandy wasn't bad enough, federal forecasters have announced that the coming months will bring "an active or extremely active" hurricane season in the Atlantic.
So why is this in Meta? Great question. I don't have a problem with the Verge reporting NOAA's forecasts, but in the article, rather than tempering the dire warning with the facts that predictions can often be inaccurate we got "OMG Hurricane Sandy!!!"
So, at the end of the season what are we left with: Wikipedia
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season was the first Atlantic hurricane season since 1994 to end with no known major hurricanes. The season began on June 1 and ended on November 30, dates that conventionally delimit the period during each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Ocean. The first storm of the season, Andrea, developed on June 5, while the final cyclone, Melissa, dissipated on November 22. Throughout the year, only two hurricanes – Humberto and Ingrid – reached hurricane intensity; this was the lowest seasonal total since 1983. In terms of Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)—a measure used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that expresses the combined strength and longevity of subtropical and tropical cyclones—the 2013 season featured activity approximately 67% below the 1981–2010 average; the ACE value reached 33 units, the lowest since the 1994 season. In conjunction with low activity, impact during the season was relatively minimal. Tropical Storm Andrea in early June killed 4 after making landfall in Florida and moving up the United States East Coast. In early July, Tropical Storm Chantal moved through the Leeward Islands, killing 1 and setting a record for the quickest-moving tropical cyclone in the deep tropics on record. Tropical storms Dorian and Erin, and Hurricane Humberto, all brought squally weather but limited impact to the Cape Verde Islands. Particularly hit was Mexico, where tropical storms Barry, Fernand, Tropical Depression Eight, and Hurricane Ingrid all made landfall. In early October, Karen brought showers and gusty winds to the central Gulf Coast. A month later, Melissa passed near the Azores with similar effects.
All major forecasting agencies predicted an above-average season. On April 10, Colorado State University (CSU) forecast 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. On May 23, NOAA predicted a range of 13 to 20 named storms, 7 to 11 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes. Following less activity than forecast, both agencies reduced their seasonal predictions in early August; CSU predicted 18 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes, while NOAA called for 13 to 19 named storms, 6 to 9 hurricanes, and 3 to 5 major hurricanes. Despite the revisions, activity remained far below predictions, at 13 named storms, 2 hurricanes, and 0 major hurricanes. On November 29, Dr. Phil Klotzbach of CSU noted that, "[Dr. Gray and I] have been doing these forecasts for 30 years and that's probably the biggest forecast bust that we've had so, obviously, that's obviously not a great feeling." Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground noted that unusually dry air from the Sahara and northeastern Brazil was enough to offset the otherwise favorable conditions for tropical cyclogenesis. Throughout the season, NOAA and the United States Air Force Reserve flew a total of 45 reconnaissance missions over the Atlantic basin, totaling to 435 hours; this was the lowest number of flight hours since at least 1966. Despite the busted forecast, Brian McNoldy at the University of Miami noted that there were several key reasons why NOAA should not cease seasonal forecasts.