National Hurricane Center

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Hurricane season began early this year, with Tropical Storm Ana edging along the coast of the Carolinas over the weekend. Which means hurricane-hunter aircraft were already at work, even before some of the fleet had finished its annual awareness tour of the Atlantic coast.

Another hurricane season has flown by without a lot of wind.

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season will come to an end on Sunday having produced just eight named storms: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna.

“If this were a typical year we would have seen 12 named storms,” said National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen.

A total of six tropical storms turned into hurricanes. Two of those grew into Category 3 or higher storms.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

It’s hard to be a fan of hurricanes. Two out of three Haitians don’t have enough food to eat these days – thanks largely to storms like last year’s Hurricane Sandy and how they’ve ravaged Haiti’s agriculture.

And yet we need hurricanes once in a while. They’re a sort of planetary thermostat that cools oceans and redistributes hot air. Their rains more effectively alleviate droughts, and that can be a help instead of a horror to impoverished countries like Haiti.

TS Sandy May Spoil The Weekend

Oct 24, 2012

Tropical Storm Sandy is expected to bring wind and rain to South Florida Thursday and Friday as it tracks north toward the Bahamas through Jamaica and Cuba. A tropical storm watch is already in effect from Jupiter Inlet south to the Florida Keys. Get the latest update from the National  Hurricane Center.