Information obtained through 30 September 2006 shows that we have so far experienced an average Atlantic basin hurricane season. August had substantially below-average activity (only 45% of average) while September had above-average activity (about 140% of average). US landfall has been well below average. No hurricanes have made landfall along the US coastline this year. Eighty-three percent of the average full season Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity has occurred so far this year. In an average year, 80 percent of the seasonal average NTC of 100 occurs by the end of September.
Our October-only forecast calls for 2 named storms, 1 hurricane, 0 major hurricanes and NTC activity of 12 which is below the October-only average value of 18. We forecast no tropical cyclone activity in November. Our below-average prediction for October-November activity is largely due to the rapid emergence of an El Niño event during the latter part of this summer.
Atlantic basin tropical cyclone (TC) activity for the 2006 season will be considerably less than the seasonal activity we anticipated in our earlier forecasts issued in early December, early April, late May and early August. We judge this reduced seasonal activity to be due to mid-level dryness in the tropical Atlantic (with large amounts of African dust) which greatly reduced August activity and to the rapid late summer development of an El Niño event which we and nearly all ENSO forecasts did not anticipate.