NOAA Increases Chance For Above-normal Hurricane Season

Hurricane Florence 2018. Hurricane Florence 2018. NASA

NOAA Increases Chance For Above-normal Hurricane Season Featured

By / Local News / Sunday, 18 August 2019 16:41

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NOAA - NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued a prediction in May of this year that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely during 2019. That outlook forecasted a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season. Hurricane season officially runs  from June 1st to November 30th.

On August 8th, the Climate Prediction Center increased that prediction of the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45% - up from 30% predicted in May. The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35%, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20%.

According to the updated prediction issued on August 8th, "The number of predicted storms is also greater with NOAA now expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This updated outlook is for the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30", and, "NOAA forecasters monitoring oceanic and atmospheric patterns say conditions are now more favorable for above-normal hurricane activity since El Nino has now ended. Two named storms have formed so far this year and the peak months of the hurricane season, August through October, are now underway."

Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator explained, "NOAA will continue to deliver the information that the public depends on before, during and after any storms throughout the hurricane season," and "Armed with our next-generation satellites, sophisticated weather models, hurricane hunter aircraft, and the expertise of our forecasters, we are prepared to keep communities informed to help save lives and livelihoods."

According to Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, "NOAA is also announcing today that the current El Nino in the Pacific Ocean has ended and neutral conditions have returned. “El Nino typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity but now that it’s gone, we could see a busier season ahead."

Bell explained, "This evolution, combined with the more conducive conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, increases the likelihood of above-normal activity this year."

According to NOAA, 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.

The 2019 hurricane season marks the first time NOAA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites includes three operational next-generation satellites. Unique and valuable data from these satellites feed the hurricane forecast models used by forecasters to help users make critical decisions days in advance.


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