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The Southern Hemisphere Sees Its ‘Quietest’ Hurricane Season On Record

Hurricane Otto is pictured approximately 305 miles east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua (about 235 miles east of Limon, Costa Rica), and moving toward the west at speeds of near 2 miles per hour in this November 22, 2016 satellite handout photo. NOAA/Handout via REUTERS

As we head into April, the Southern Hemisphere is in the midst of the “quietest” hurricane season on record.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of Weatherbell Analytics noted tropical cyclone activity in the Southern Hemisphere for the 2016-2017 season is the “quietest on record, by far” based on records going back nearly five decades.

April can see some Southern Hemisphere hurricane activity — but so far, 2016-17 season is quietest on record, by far. ACE 1970-2017: pic.twitter.com/s24ZRyowTN

— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) April 3, 2017

So far, the Southern Hemisphere has seen 13 named storms, including four hurricane-strength storms. Only two of those storms became major hurricanes, Category 3 or higher, according to data compiled by Colorado State University.

Most recently, Tropical Cyclone Debbie struck Australia’s northeastern coast in late March, forcing 25,000 people to be evacuated from low-lying areas. Debbie brought 161-mile-per-hour winds and cut power to thousands of residents. At least four deaths have been blamed on the storm.

The Southern Hemisphere’s quiet hurricane season comes after the most active season in the North Atlantic since 2010. The 2016 Atlantic season saw 16 named storms, including seven hurricanes.

Just three of those hurricanes were Category 3 or higher, and none made landfall this years. A major hurricane has not made landfall in the U.S. for more than a decade.

Hurricane Matthew was set to end the U.S.’s decade-long hurricane “drought,” but the storm did not make landfall as a Category 3 storm.

Matthew still caused billions of dollars worth of damage and forced thousands to flee their homes. The storm is estimated to have killed more than 1,000 people in Haiti.

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