Not long ago, we passed on the word from the tropical weather expert that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season was going to see below average hurricane and tropical storm formation. At the time, the experts were saying lower-than-expected sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Atlantic and other factors were conspiring to blunt the formation of tropical storms and hurricane from the tropical waves that come off the coast of western Africa this time of year. At the same time, we cautioned everyone to remain vigilant and prepared to face a major storm and its aftermath because the danger remained real.

We hope everyone heeded that advice. The conditions needed to turn those African tropical waves into potentially deadly storms because conditions in the Atlantic had been turning more favorable — for the storms, not us. The severe weather experts had their collective eye out for the situation in the Atlantic and Caribbean over the Labor Day weekend. By now, we all will know if they had cause to worry.

To both edges

Meanwhile, we received further proof of the shrinking center in American politics last week when Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum won the Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis emerged victorious from the Republican primary. Both defeated rivals who were in favor with their parties’ more traditional establishments. Gillum was backed by socialist-progressive U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and DeSantis had full-out support from President Donald Trump. The election of Trump as president in 2016 was unexpected by pretty much everyone, including perhaps Trump himself. So, supposed surprises that confound the experts, like Gillum’s primary win, probably aren’t surprises anymore. Expect to see more of them come November.