Forecasters expect busier hurricane season

Forecasters expect busier hurricane season

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has increased the probability for a more active hurricane season from the 30% that was predicted in May, to a 45% chance of an above normal hurricane season. The two named storms already occurring this season are included in these new forecast numbers.

Although the probability of an "above-normal" season has increased, there is still a 35 percent change of a "near-normal" season, forecasters say.

The most recent outlook for the 2019 hurricane season includes 10 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes, or storm systems that contain wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

The government's forecast is slightly higher than that of Colorado State University, which also issues hurricane season forecasts.

An average Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, including six hurricanes.

'This evolution, combined with the more conducive conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, increases the likelihood of above-normal activity this year'.

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The agency's outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not landfall forecasts, which are mainly determined by short-term weather patterns, only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline.

Hurricane Ivan was a Category 3 storm that slammed into the Alabama coastline just west of Gulf Shores with 120 miles per hour winds.

"Today's updated outlook is a reminder to be prepared", said Pete Gaynor, acting FEMA administrator.

Dr. Gerry Bell, lead NOAA hurricane seasonal forecaster, wants to remind us that the forecast does not include any information on how many hurricanes will make landfall in the U.S. Hotter water temperatures fuel storms to become stronger, but Bell said ocean temperatures don't have much impact on a seasonal forecast. The 15-, 30- and 60-second video clips are available for broadcast or social media distribution and can go along with additional storm surge resources from NOAA.

El Nino, the warming of the Pacific Ocean that typically causes some suppression of Atlantic tropical systems, has ended.

"Everyone should know the risk, have a plan and be prepared", he said.