The Atlantic Basin has been without a category five hurricane since September 2007

The record-long streak without an Atlantic Basin category five hurricane reached nine years over Labor Day weekend.

Number of category five hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin by decade (Image: WHNT News 19)

Number of category five hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin by decade (Image: WHNT News 19)

Since Hurricane Felix plowed into Nicaragua on September 5, 2007, not one Atlantic hurricane has reached elite category five status. In a roughly four-year span from September 2003-2007, eight category five hurricanes ravaged the Atlantic Basin.

A category five hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 157 miles per hour or higher.

There have been 70 Atlantic hurricanes from Humberto in 2007 through Hermine this year, and all have failed to attain category five status.

Of those 70 hurricanes during the streak, 13 of those reached category four intensity, most recently Hurricane Joaquin in early October 2015.

Possible causes of the category five drought

500 millibar zonal wind anomaly (in meters per second) during the core months of the Atlantic hurricane season (August - October) from 2008 through 2015. Positive anomalies (green, yellow, orange contours) indicate stronger west winds aloft than average, a proxy for stronger wind shear (Image: NCEP/NCAR)

500 millibar zonal wind anomaly (in meters per second) during the core months of the Atlantic hurricane season (August - October) from 2008 through 2015. Positive anomalies (green, yellow, orange contours) indicate stronger west winds aloft than average, a proxy for stronger wind shear (Image: NCEP/NCAR)

Data from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the National Center for Atmospheric Research show a large area of stronger-than-average winds across the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, far western Atlantic and the Southeast U.S. The data is valid for the months August through October between 2008 and 2015.

Using this as a proxy for wind shear, it can be concluded that this persistent wind shear has aided in tearing storms apart and steering others out to sea.

Wind shear wreaks havoc on tropical systems by disrupting the organization of thunderstorms, or keeping them from clustering around the center of the cyclone.

Portions of this article originally appeared on WeatherUnderground.