Every year, NOAA issues the first Atlantic hurricane outlook in May; before the start of the season and then in early August to coincide with the peak months of the season, August, September and October.
So far this season, we’ve seen three tropical storms in the Atlantic basin. Ana made landfall in South Carolina in May. Bill came ashore in Texas in June, then Claudette followed, staying out at sea.
Today, Dr. Gerry Bell, NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster, gave us the newest outlook…
“We’re announcing that we have an even higher confidence that this year’s hurricane season will be below normal. In addition, we’ve lowered the likely ranges of expected storm activity since our May outlook.
Dr. Bell says these numbers include Ana, Bill and Claudette are well below the seasonal averages of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. This reflects a combination of three factors, the strength of the current “El Nino, non-conducive atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic basin and tropical Atlantic ocean temperatures that are predicted to remain below average, which reduces the ability of storms to form and gain strength.
Even with the forecast of a well below average season, it’s a good thing to remember that no matter what the prediction is for the season, it only takes one storm hitting your area to make it a bad one! So know your risk, have a plan and be prepared.
For WeatherNation: John Van Pelt