at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say the Atlantic could see another
above-normal hurricane season this year. This announcement was made at
a May 25 news conference held at their weather and climate prediction
headquarters in College Park, Maryland.
year produced 5 land-falling storms, including Hurricane Matthew, which
caused $10 billion in damage and killed 34 people in the U.S. and 551
in the Caribbean. It was one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes on
because it’s not a major hurricane, doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous,
it’s not deadly, and we should not be prepared,” said Benjamin
Friedman, acting NOAA administrator, at the news conference.
the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through
November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal
season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20
percent chance of a below-normal season.
predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39
mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74
mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5;
winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms
of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
These numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April.
outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino,
near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical
Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average
vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead
seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
El Ninos and wind shear typically suppress development of Atlantic
hurricanes, so the prediction for weak conditions points to more
hurricane activity this year. Also, warmer sea surface temperatures
tend to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean. However, the
climate models are showing considerable uncertainty, which is reflected
in the comparable probabilities for an above-normal and near-normal
broad range of expertise and resources support the nation with strong
science and service before, during and after each storm to protect
lives and property and enhance the national economy as we continue
building a Weather-Ready Nation,” said Friedman. “From our expert
modelers to our dedicated forecasters and brave crews of our hurricane
hunters, we’ll be here to warn the nation every step of the way this