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August saw zero hurricanes in the Atlantic

Hurricane Katrina, a peak strength, approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast in this 2005 shot. Image: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Hurricane Katrina, a peak strength, approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast in this 2005 shot. Image: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Sunday, September 1, 2013, 11:24 AM -

August came to a close without a single Atlantic hurricane -- for only the sixth time since 1944, when aircraft reconnaissance data began to be collected.

In fact, the season has only seen six named storms so far, with none reaching hurricane status, likely due to an abundance of dry air blown over the Atlantic from the Sahara.

August did see the formation of tropical storms Erin and Fernand, although neither reached hurricane strength.

But Gina Ressler, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, says that doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet -- in fact, technically speaking, we haven't even GOT to the woods.

While it's unusual to have no hurricanes at all in August, September has almost always been when hurricane season really gets going.

"Most forecasters are expecting an active year," she said Sunday. "I think, the take-away for Canada is, it just takes one storm to track up and bring us hurricane conditions."

Lack of activity in August does not mean a mild season.

In 2002, for example, the previous year with no August storms, September brought Hurricane Gustav, which reached Category 2 status at its peak.

It eventually tracked all the way to Atlantic Canada, where it brought winds of more than 100 km/h, localized flooding and power cuts for thousands of people.

The next year saw Hurricane Juan strike the Maritimes, also in September.

Hurricane Juan, Sept. 2003. Image: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Hurricane Juan, Sept. 2003. Image: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

And in 2005, not only had there been several storms by September, the 11th of the season, Hurricane Katrina, left more than 1,500 people dead and still stands as the most damaging hurricane in U.S. history, at least in terms of dollar value.

2005, in fact, was the most active hurricane season in recorded history. There were 26 named storms in total -- so many, meteorologists ran out of names, and had dip into the Greek alphabet to name the last six storms.

The last, Zeta, formed on December 30, and didn't dissipate until January 6, so the 2005 hurricane season lasted all the way to 2006.

So only time will tell how the current season stacks up against previous years.

For stormy skies in the present day, check out our active weather video gallery.

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