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Quiet Storm Season Leaves Meteorologists Wary

A year after the widespread destruction of superstorm Sandy, 2013’s hurricane season has been off to a quiet and uneventful start. So far, with half of the season elapsed, not a single hurricane-force storm has damaged the Atlantic coast.

However, forecasters are warning Americans that this point in the season may just be the calm before the storm; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) still predicts an active and potentially devastating period to close out the year.

A typical storm season consists of 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three other major storms. This year’s forecast still predicts anywhere from 13 to 19 named storms and three to five major, potentially damaging hurricanes.

Early in 2013, meteorologists predicted an active season based on weather patterns ranging from abnormally warm Atlantic waters to rare wind patterns and heavy rainfall in West Africa. According to NOAA officials stationed in Maryland, the storm predictions fit in with the current 40 year cycle of hurricane activity.

Forecasters are continuing to be wary of all storms, even those that may not be classified as major hurricanes with wind speeds of over 111 miles per hour. Sandy, which ravaged the Northeast last year, was not technically labeled a major storm, but it killed 147 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.