NOAA Forecasters Lower Atlantic Hurricane Season Prediction
Preparedness still key as more storms expected to develop.
Conditions in the ocean and the atmosphere are expected to produce a less active Atlantic hurricane season than initially predicted in May, though NOAA and FEMA are raising caution as the season enters its peak months.
Seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 60 percent (up from 25 percent in May) in the updated outlook, issued today. The likelihood of a near-normal season is now at 30 percent, and the chance of an above-normal season has dropped from 35 percent to 10 percent.
For the entire season, which ends Nov. 30, NOAA predicts a total of 9-13 named storms, of which 4-7 will become hurricanes. Two of those may become major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater, though it is possible there will be no major hurricanes this season, according to the agency.
So far, the season has seen four named storms, including two hurricanes.
NOAA says El Nino is now much more likely to develop with enough strength to suppress storm development during the latter part of the season. Additionally, sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea have remained much cooler than average. A combination of stronger wind shear, drier air and increased stability of the atmosphere in the region where storms typically develop will further suppress hurricanes.