2013’s Atlantic hurricane season narrowly avoided setting a record for the latest formed Atlantic hurricane, having been hurricane-free until the appearance of Hurricane Humberto last week.
The 2013 Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE), which measures a season’s storm activity, was at 16 prior to the appearance of Manuel and Ingrid, compared to a usual year’s average around 110. But the two recent storms were enough to raise it to 24 as of Wednesday.
Some climate science deniers have tried to seize on the quiet hurricane season as evidence against a link between climate change and extreme weather. But hurricanes and all weather are a result of many interrelated systems. Dennis Feltgen, of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, attributed the quiet season in part to dust and dry air blowing off of the Sahara. And as the destruction in Mexico shows, extreme weather is still a huge threat.