NOAA increases chance for above-normal hurricane season

Atlantic update pie chart 2019WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2019–National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association forecasters monitoring oceanic and atmospheric patterns say conditions are more favorable for an above-normal hurricane season since El Nino has ended.

Because of this, seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45 percent (up from 30 percent from the outlook issued in May).

The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35 percent and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20 percent.

The number of predicted storms is also greater with NOAA now expecting 10-to-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which five-to-nine will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including two-to-four major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater).

“El Nino typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity but now that it’s gone, we could see a busier season ahead,” said Dr. Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

On average, the Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

NOAA’s hurricane season outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast.

Landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline.

“Today’s updated outlook is a reminder to be prepared,” said Pete Gaynor, acting Federal Emergency Management Association administrator. “We urge everyone to learn more about hurricane hazards and prepare now, ahead of time, so that if state and local authorities announce evacuations in advance of a storm, you and your family will have planned where to go and what to do to stay safe.”

NOAA news release

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