J eff Brauner of Baltimore asks: "What year holds the record for the least number of ... hurricanes and tropical storms? It seems like 2009 must be close." Close, but only on hurricane totals. There were nine named storms in the Atlantic basin this year. Of those, three reached hurricane strength. The fewest named tropical storms on record (back to 1899) occurred in 1983, when four formed. A year earlier, there were only two hurricanes, still the record.