Calm Season for Hurricanes Comes to End

From Associated Press

With only four hurricanes, the Atlantic storm season that ends today was the calmest in five years, and forecasters attributed it to the climate phenomenon known as El Nino.

Don’t expect such help next year, though: Storm expert William Gray said El Nino probably will be gone before the new season begins July 1, and he echoed other forecasters’ concerns about the potential for a killer storm. “It’s quite ominous because there’s been such a buildup of people along the Southeast coast,” said Gray, from Colorado State University.

In all, the season produced a dozen tropical storms, two more than average. The four hurricanes -- Gustav, Isidore, Kyle and Lili -- were two fewer than average, and all developed in less than a month, between Sept. 8 and Oct. 4.

Eight of the 12 tropical storms came in September, setting a monthly record, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.