"The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season is at the halfway point, and has yet to see a hurricane," said Jessica Spaccio, a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.
"While many people are relieved by this, it's also puzzling as the season outlook called for an above-normal season."
The prediction center had forecast 13 to 19 named storms for the season, she said, with six to nine hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes.
"While no hurricanes have yet formed, there have been eight named storms -- one of which is Tropical Storm Humberto, currently in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean and expected to strengthen and possibly become the season's first hurricane," she said in a Cornell release Tuesday. "Also, Gabrielle has returned to tropical storm strength and is passing near Bermuda.
The character of the season so far is no guarantee of ongoing quiet, she said.
"Although the science behind why is still far from settled, the season so far has been on the quiet side," she said. "But with the second half still to come, it's too soon to count out an active season."
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