The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their outlook for the upcoming hurricane season for the Atlantic earlier today and the forecast certainly warrants concern for the eastern half of the nation.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s expectations are for this upcoming season’s tropical development to average near normal for the Atlantic basin with a 40% probability of a near-normal season, a 30% probability of an above-normal season, and a 30% probability of a below-normal season. Hurricane season officially commences the first of June and ceases at the end of November with the highest activity in the late summer through mid-autumn time frame.
A range of 9 to 15 named storms (winds at or exceeding 39 mph) is expected according to NOAA , with 4 to 8 potentially reaching hurricane criteria (winds at or exceeding 74 mph) and 2 to 4 potentially reaching major hurricane criteria (category 3, 4, or 5; with winds at or exceeding 111 mph) in a forecast confidence of 70%. The average hurricane season typically spawns 12 named storms, with 6 of those hurricanes , and 3 of those reaching major hurricane status.
The reasoning behind NOAA’s forecast for a more average season than an above-average one, is due to the presence of El Nino and it’s role in preventing the overall increase in hurricane activity going forward into the upcoming season. The counterbalance however, lies in the warmer than normal sea surface temperatures that reside in the tropical Atlantic basin and Caribbean Sea, as well as enhanced monsoonal activity in West Africa. This will likely keep our Atlantic hurricane season from being as hushed as El Nino would normally enforce.
This outlook from NOAA is not a landfall forecast, yet a general summary of what can be expected for seasonal activity. Make sure you, your family, and your friends have made all necessary preparations for the upcoming season, particularly if you live in or near a coastal area, as we here at East Coast Weather Authority will be monitoring the Atlantic very closely in the coming months and will provide you with the latest information and significant alerts regarding any storm landfalls or various impacts to coastal and inland areas should any tropical disturbances or hurricanes threaten the Eastern US.
Lastly, here’s a look at the names for the Atlantic tropical cyclones for this upcoming season:
East Coast Weather Authority