Hurricane season ends with fewest named storms since 1997

By Mike Clay, Chief Meteorologist
Last Updated: Monday, December 01, 2014, 3:34 PM EST

The 2014 Hurricane Season has come to an end with no activity in the Atlantic for over four weeks.  The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) that was 63 percent of normal.  There were only eight named storms, the fewest since 1997.

There were only five deaths this season, four from Hurricane Gonzalo in the Lesser Antilles (none in Bermuda) and one from Tropical Storm Dolly in Mexico.

The season was inactive because of a large amount of dry air over the Atlantic basin, a large amount of wind shear in the tropics and slightly cooler than normal water temperatures over the open ocean where many storms form.

For the ninth consecutive year, no major hurricanes hit the United States, marking the first time since records began in 1851 the U.S. has gone that long without a Category 3 or stronger hurricane making landfall. The previous record was eight years, set in 1861-1868.

Wilma of 2005 was the last major hurricane to hit the U.S., and was also the last hurricane of any strength to hit Florida. This is Florida's longest hurricane-free stretch (by far) since records began in 1851. The previous longest hurricane-free streak in Florida was five years, set in 1980-1984 during the overall fairly inactive decade of the 1980s.

Do you remember all these storms or are there a few you have already forgotten?

Tropical Depression 1 formed east of Florida on the evening of June 30. It became Arthur, the first named storm of the season. During the early morning of the Fourth of July, Hurricane Arthur moved over North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane. Winds were 100 mph. Post-tropical Arthur then moved over southeastern Canada with strong winds and heavy rain on July 5.

Tropical Depression 2 formed in the Central Atlantic Ocean on July 21 but never became a named storm.

Tropical Storm Bertha formed east of the southern Lesser Antilles late July 31. It became a hurricane on Monday, Aug. 4 then took a path between the United States and Bermuda.

Cristobal became a hurricane on Monday, Aug. 25 in the Atlantic Ocean. It passed north of Puerto Rico then between Bermuda and Cape Hatteras.

Tropical Depression 5 formed in the Bay of Campeche. It strengthened into Tropical Storm Dolly and moved ashore just south of Tampico, Mexico on Sept. 2.

Tropical Depression 6 formed west of the Cape Verde Islands on Sept. 11 and was Tropical Storm Edouard later that day. It became a Category 3 hurricane, the first major hurricane of the season, on Sept. 16. Edouard was not near any land.

Fay began as a subtropical depression on Friday, Oct. 10 about 600 miles south of Bermuda. It was a strong tropical storm with winds of 70 mph as it passed over Bermuda on Sunday, Oct. 12. It became a hurricane in the Atlantic later that day as it moved over the open Atlantic Ocean.

Tropical Storm Gonzalo formed east of the Leeward Islands on Sunday, Oct. 12. It moved through the northern Leeward Islands. On the 15th, it became a Category 4 hurricane, the strongest one of the season. On Oc5. 17, winds were 115 mph as it approached Bermuda. Bermuda was hit again and this time the center of the large eye made landfall along the south-central coast. The remnants of Gonzalo moved all the way across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom!

Tropical Depression 9 formed over the Bay of Campeche on Oct. 21 and moved inland over Mexico the next day. The remnant low was over the western Caribbean when it became Tropical Storm Hanna off the coast of Nicaragua on Oct. 27.