A new outlook shows a ‘near normal’ season with a 60% chance of an above-normal year with above-normal intensity and the 15-30% chance of a below-normal season
US hurricane season outlook published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
A new outlook shows a “near normal” season with a 60% chance of an above-normal year with above-normal intensity and the 15-30% chance of a below-normal season.
The New York Times predicted last week that a hurricane would strike the US by September after season-to-date hurricane activity in May was 14% above average.
How Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida Read more
NOAA on Wednesday also said that hurricane season would begin on 1 June with chances of an above-normal season at 60% and below-normal at 30%.
“The outlook is based on a forecast of average to above-normal conditions in the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico through at least the third week of September,” said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Flooded streets following Hurricane Arthur in North Carolina in 2014. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
“August and September are historically the peak months for Atlantic hurricane formation,” Bell said in a statement.
Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean runs from 1 June to 31 November.
The overall outlook, which NOAA released in 2012, brought little relief to the Atlantic basin after previous predictions this season had been revised upward.
Three years ago NOAA projected “above-normal” or “above-average” seasons for each of the three years following the 2012 season that produced the second-highest average numbers of storms since 1851. The 2012 season then produced a record 13 storms.
The five-year average is 9.7 tropical storms (winds of 39mph or more), 2.7 hurricanes (winds of 74mph or more), three major hurricanes (winds of 111mph or more), and six hurricane direct impacts (strength of at least 75mph).
The Atlantic basin, however, is not entirely in the clear for another season. A second-quarter outlook issued last week by the Colorado State University (CSU) Colorado State University forecasters predicts a “less active” season with only six tropical storms (winds of 39mph or more), two hurricanes (winds of 74mph or more), and one major hurricane (winds of 111mph or more).
CSU again added hurricane potential years that are likely to occur in September to November.