The peak of the hurricane season is still ahead - Photo Credit NOAA
Although the first two months of the 2013 Altantic Tropical season have been fairly uneventful (4 tropical storms, no hurricanes), there are still four months left to go, and NOAA continues to see conditions ripe for an above-average tropical season.
Earlier this month, we saw similar predictions from Colorado State University’s Dr. William Gray: August Hurricane Forecast Update.
Here is the latest prediction from NOAA.
August 8, 2013
Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013, from NOAA's GOES East satellite.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
NOAA issued its updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook today saying the season is shaping up to be above normal with the possibility that it could be very active. The season has already produced four named storms, with the peak of the season – mid-August through October – yet to come.
“Our confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for storm development have materialized,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “Also, two of the four named storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season.”
The conditions in place now are similar to those that have produced many active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995, and include above-average Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a stronger rainy season in West Africa, which produces wind patterns that help turn storm systems there into tropical storms and hurricanes.
The updated outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season. Across the Atlantic Basin for the entire season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook (which includes the activity to date of tropical storms Andrea, Barry, Chantal, and Dorian) projects a 70 percent chance for each of the following ranges:
- 13 to 19 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including
- 6 to 9 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which
- 3 to 5 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
These ranges are above the 30-year seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
If you haven’t already downloaded the Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide, now would be an excellent time to do so. It is a short (12-page), easy to follow guide that will walk you through the basics of understanding (and surviving) hurricanes and tropical storms.
For more on hurricane preparedness you may wish to revisit: