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A swirling Eastern Pacific Ocean storm system headed for California is seen in an image from NOAA A swirling Eastern Pacific Ocean storm system headed for California is seen in an image from NOAA's GOES-West satellite taken at 0930 EST (1430 GMT) February 28, 2014. REUTERS/NASA/NOAA/Handout  

Number of hurricanes reaches 30-year low

The “hurricane drought” in the U.S. continues, as last year saw the lowest number of hurricanes since 1982, according to government storm data.

For the 2013 hurricane season — which runs from June 1st to November 30th — thirteen named storms formed in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Only two of those storms reached hurricane strength, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The National Hurricane Center reports: “BASED ON THE 30-YEAR CLIMATOLOGY… THE AVERAGE LEVEL OF ACTIVITY IN THE BASIN IS 12 NAMED STORMS…6 HURRICANES…AND 3 MAJOR HURRICANES. FOR 2013…THE NUMBER OF NAMED STORMS WAS NEAR AVERAGE…BUT THE NUMBERS OF HURRICANES AND MAJOR HURRICANES WERE WELL BELOW AVERAGE.”

(Capitalization in the original.)

The Center adds: “THERE WERE NO MAJOR HURRICANES IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC BASIN FOR THE FIRST  TIME SINCE 1994. AND THE NUMBER OF HURRICANES THIS YEAR WAS THE LOWEST SINCE 1982.”

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, environmental groups and the Obama administration pushed the notion that “extreme weather” events were evidence that global warming was happening and getting worse.

“We know that the extreme weather events that we’re seeing, the record wildfires, the record droughts, the extreme storms that we’re seeing, the hurricane that we saw with a 1,000-mile diameter that hit the eastern seaboard late October of last year, are precisely what scientists have said would be the cause of global warming and climate change,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club said on CNN.

President Barack Obama has even proposed creating a $1 billion “climate resiliency fund” to prepare local communities for the impacts of global warming — more droughts, floods, storms, and more.

But last year not only saw the fewest hurricanes since the 1980s, but it was also the third straight year for record low tornado activity. Last year also saw new lows for tropical cyclone activity in the Eastern North Pacific, according to government data.

The National Hurricane Center reports that accumulated cyclone energy, which measures the combined strength and duration of these storms, was about 67 percent below the 1981-2010 average. In 2013, it was the lowest since 1994.

The Center concludes that while the number of named storms was slightly above normal, the numbers of hurricanes was near normal and major hurricanes were significantly below normal.

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