This year's Atlantic hurricane season has had fewer storms to this point of the year than any since 1983, with only five named storms.

The last storm formed on Sept. 11, and there are no signs of any new ones spinning off Africa's west coast during what is supposed to be peak season, which runs from mid-August to late October.

A typical hurricane season has 12 named storms, nine of them hurricanes and three of those major. This year has seen five named storms. Four grew into hurricanes, one of them major.

Gerry Bell is lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center. He said Tuesday that a weaker West African monsoon caused an increase in wind shear and dry, sinking air that limited storm development this year.