FLORIDA, United States, Tuesday August 21, 2018 – Conditions in the ocean and the atmosphere are conspiring to produce a less active Atlantic hurricane season than initially predicted in May, though National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is raising caution as the season enters its peak months.
“There are still more storms to come – the hurricane season is far from being over. We urge continued preparedness and vigilance,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 60 per cent (up from 25 per cent in May) in the updated outlook. The likelihood of a near-normal season is now at 30 per cent, and the chance of an above-normal season has dropped from 35 per cent to 10 per cent.
For the entire June 1 to November 30 season, NOAA predicts a total of 9-13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater) of which 4-7 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 0-2 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater).
So far, the season has seen five named storms, including two hurricanes. An average six-month hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
The 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 one week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline, the NOAA said.