Happy halfway point through Florida’s unexpectedly quiet hurricane season

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Today marks the halfway point in the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which spans June 1 through November 30.   Either predictions were way off this year, or we’re due for one heck of a second half.   

While pre-season forecasts warned of above average hurricane activity, this is the first season since 2002 to have no hurricanes through the month of August. To date, just six tropical storms have been named.  Of all of the agencies to offer official forecasts, the least foreboding still suggested a minimum of seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes — all yet to occur.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted between seven and 11 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes.

In honor of this date, here is some gratuitous evidence that Floridians continue to take preparedness seriously, even during quiet seasons such as this one.

Google Trends search tool shows that in each year since they began publishing search frequency data in 2004, Floridians search for “hurricane preparedness” at two peaks each season, typically in May or June, and August.

hurricane prep trend

If we make it to 11 named storms this year, “Karen” will once again make the cut. But I won’t be disappointed for my name to go without an associated storm (at least for another six years).