PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — In the spring, tropical outlooks for 2022 had the United States prepping for another particularly active season.

Both Colorado State University and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Association (NOAA) originally predicted above-average activity.

However, Atlantic activity stayed close to the climatological average for the first time in years.

National Weather Service meteorologist, Kelly Godsey says there’s a reason for the lack of elevated numbers, “The big culprit there, I think for that is we had a lot of dry air or, and also Saharan dust that blows off the west coast of Africa. That suppressed a lot of activity in the month of August where we would normally see a lot of systems develop.”

From mid-July through August the Atlantic did not produce a single named tropical disturbance. The last time August had no storms was in 1997.

The season made up for the lack of activity in the fall months, with the landfalls of hurricanes Ian and Nicole in Florida.

But oddly enough, the Florida Panhandle was untouched.

“The western side tropical systems, they do tend to be drier and has had such a very sharp gradient between the areas that got rain and those that didn’t…” said Godsey, “…and that’s why we just ended up not seeing any rain from that. We had just a couple of inches from Nicole, so you know, October and November without tropical systems are very dry months in north Florida, And that’s just added to the drought,” he continued.

It’s important to remember that every hurricane season is unique, and while this year was average, an entirely different scene will be set for next year’s storms.

The 2023 hurricane season will begin on June 1st.