The 2006 hurricane season was initially forecasted to be very active. Many forecasters expected that warm sea surface temperatures, characteristic of active hurricane seasons, would indicate an above average hurricane season for 2006. Why did this not happen?
In April, a pool of cooler than average water developed off the eastern seaboard. Cooler water disrupted any development of hurricanes and prevented tropical disturbances from developing at all in many cases. Later in the season, the onset of El Nino caused increased wind shear in the Atlantic. Higher wind shear prevented storms from forming or strengthening. The final factor that reduced the number of storms in 2006 was large amounts of African dust over the Atlantic, reducing the amount of moisture required for storm development.
- There were 10 named storms in the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
- There were 5 hurricanes.
- There were 2 hurricanes that were considered "major" (category 3 or higher).
- Three Tropical Storms made landfall. Tropical Storm Alberto over Florida in June, Tropical Storm Beryl over Massachusetts in July and Tropical Storm Ernesto over North Carolina in late August.
- 2006 was the first year since 2001 that no hurricanes struck the continental U.S.