"Quiet Atlantic Hurricane Season A Boon For Insurers"

"MIAMI -- Thanks to El Nino, the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season has been the quietest in more than a decade, offering a reprieve for residents in the danger zone and a chance for insurance firms to refill depleted coffers.

With the peak of the season -- late August to mid-October -- now behind, the Atlantic-Caribbean basin has seen just two hurricanes and a total of eight tropical storms.

El Nino, the Pacific warm-water phenomenon that can produce destructive weather in other parts of the world, played a big role in suppressing Atlantic cyclones this year, experts said.

If the full season, which runs from June through November, ended today, it would be the lowest number of storms since 1997. The last time an Atlantic season produced only two hurricanes was 1982."

Jim Loney reports for Reuters October 15, 2009.

Friday, October 16, 2009