Super Typhoon Haiyan packed more energy than the sum total of all 12 named storms - including two hurricanes - that have formed so far in the Atlantic this hurricane season. That shows not only the intensity of the single 313km/h Pacific system, but also how "wimpy" the storm season has been in the Atlantic, said Jim Lushine, a retired US National Weather Service forecaster and tropical expert. "Super typhoons in the western Pacific are much more frequent than hurricanes of equal strength in the Atlantic," he said. "This is, at least in part, due to the fact that the Pacific is a much larger expanse of warm ocean water." Haiyan's winds were gusting to 378km/h three hours before landfall, "making it the fourth-strongest tropical cyclone in world history", said Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist of Weather Underground, an online weather site. Haiyan was also 35km/h stronger than Hurricane Andrew, which struck Florida's Miami-Dade County as a Category 5 system with top winds of about 278km/h in August 1992. The Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on November 30, has seen mostly short-lived weak storms, the result of an unexpected spate of dry air, wind shear and African dust. Initially, seasonal forecasts predicted up to 20 named storms, including 11 hurricanes. But there were only 12 storms, including two Category 1 hurricanes. The last system, Tropical Storm Lorenzo, formed late last month. The Atlantic basin, on average, produces 12 named storms, including six hurricanes. The northwest Pacific Ocean, on the other hand, is the world's most active basin with an average of almost 26 storms per year, including 16 typhoons. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, that region's version of the National Hurricane Centre, estimated Haiyan's winds to be 313km/h as it approached Samar Island and the city of Guiuan, where the super typhoon initially made landfall. However, Masters said that speed was valid only for the part of the storm that was over water.