Archive for August, 2009

2009 Hurricane Season Starting Slow, But Could Heat UP

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

El Niño conditions have developed over the past few months, and that’s the most likely reason that the start of the season has been relatively quiet, experts say.

Still, an El Niño also formed in 1992, and that year saw Hurricane Andrew, one of the most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S.

Andrew, the 1992 Atlantic season’s first named tropical storm, was a tropical depression on August 16. It was a Category 5 storm on August 24 just south of Miami, Florida, with winds of about 165 miles an hour.

El Niño conditions slow down hurricane formation mostly in the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic waters. But powerful hurricanes can form elsewhere.

Hurricane Alicia, for example, formed in mid-August 1983 just off the Louisiana coast during an El Niño. That storm later struck Houston, Texas, with 115-mile-an-hour winds.