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Tropical Storm Cristobal – the third named system of a quiet 2014 hurricane season (so far) – formed near the Bahamas early Sunday. The storm is expected to become a hurricane within the next 72 hours, although current forecast tracks have it steering well clear of the Eastern Seaboard.

In other words don’t cancel your Labor Day beach plans …

As of 6:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, Cristobal was packing maximum sustained winds of 47 miles per hour as it moved north-northwest at around seven miles per hour.  A timely trough of low pressure is expected to impact the system over the next few days, pushing it east of the American mainland.

As we noted, it’s been a quiet 2014 season so far … similar to 2013.

The Atlantic basin produced fourteen named storms last year, only two of which became hurricanes (and none of which turned into major hurricanes).

By contrast in 2012 there were 19 named storms including ten hurricanes – two of which were major storms.  There were also 19 named storms in 2011, including seven hurricanes – four of which were major storms.  In 2010 there were …  you guessed it … 19 named storms including twelve hurricanes, five of which were major.

Hopefully things will stay quiet as the summer winds down …

South Carolina has seen 23 hurricane landfalls since 1893 – the most infamous being Hurricane Hugo in 1989.  Fortunately the state has avoided any direct hits from major storms since then, although there have been several close calls – including Hurricane Irene in 2011.

For those of you keeping score at home, here’s the five-day forecast window for Cristobal, courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) …

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cristobal 1

And here’s the forecast track …

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cristobal track 1