Comparing storm activity from one year to the next is a challenge. Do you use lives lost, number of named storms, dollar damage, volume of oil and gas production shut in, or maximum intensity?
Taking a leaf from Google's attempt to analyze flu using words typed into its search engine, here are two charts which I am updating for the last time this year comparing the 2009 hurricane season to previous ones. The first chart shows how many searches for the word "hurricane" were carried out over the past six years. The 2005 season which included Hurricane Katrina stands out. Interestingly, the Google index registered a ZERO for the week up to November 29, 2009. This is the first time the data showed no value.
A second chart shows the same data as above, except in a cumulative form with the end of 2005 indexed to 100:
The effects of seasonality on oil are described in Oil 101.