Hurricane Drought

In 2017, the Washington Post wrote and article with a headline Science behind the hurricane ‘drought’

After Katrina flooded New Orleans, parts of which are below sea level, the United States suffered more than a decade without a major hurricane coming ashore. The biggest hurricanes, the Galveston storm of 1900 and the Okeechobee storm of 1938 had been joined by Katrina, and the news was that this was the new normal.

Normally we can expect a major hurricane every 6-8 years somewhere in the United States. At least category 2, and during some periods more frequently. When we look at historical data for hurricanes, it cannot be discounted that the advent of space exploration has made a major impact on how well we see the formation and evolution of tropical storms.

Historical lists of storms generally show two years, 1907 and 1914 as being entirely free of tropical storms. In the modern era the only year with an extremely low number of hurricanes is 2013. Only two large tropical storms danced around the Atlantic Ocean in 2013. 1982 also is listed with only two storms, and most people think we had pretty good satellite data that year. We have to go all the way back to 1905 to find a year with only one storm, and then back to 1895 and 1890 to find years with two storms.