Ahead of the official start of Hurricane season June 1st, NOAA has released their outlook for the season: 9-15 named tropical storms, 4-8 of those becoming hurricanes, and of those 2-4 strengthening to at least a category 3. This boils down to a near-normal season for the Atlantic.
This forecast is expected to check out as well- with NOAA stating a 70% likelihood that that range will occur between June 1st and November 30th.
Forecasters look at different long-range weather patterns for this forecast- and this year, some of those patterns are competing against each other.
First off- we have and will continue to be under a weak El Nino cycle, this pattern increases shear- ripping apart “would be storms” in the Atlantic during hurricane formation. On the other hand, the Atlantic is still in a high activity period dating back to 1995 as sea surface temperatures still trend above normal- providing more fuel for hurricanes to consume and strengthen. Across the Atlantic- an increase in West African monsoon season intensity will likely provide more disturbances that could become hurricanes.
Keep in mind that this is an outlook for how many storms will form and nothing else. Daniel Brown with the National Hurricane Center, “the seasonal forecast doesn’t tell you where the storms are going to form, where they are going to go, and unfortunately who is going to get hit.
So, the key really is to be prepared each hurricane season as you might be the one to get hit.“
As we all should know by now- it only takes one storm to completely change one’s life- a near-normal season could be a bad one if it impacts you. So, start preparing today and count on Storm Team 2 to keep you updated throughout Hurricane Season.
Storm Team 2 Meteorologist David Dickson