Atlantic Hurricane Season Peak Could be Worse Than Predicted

Atlantic Hurricane Season Peak Could be Worse Than Predicted”

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated forecast Thursday for the 2019 season, saying the end of El Nino will likely lead to more tropical storms and hurricanes in the peak months of the season - now through October.

The 2019 hurricane season lasts through November 30th. "Armed with our next-generation satellites, sophisticated weather models, hurricane hunter aircraft, and the expertise of our forecasters, we are prepared to keep communities informed to help save lives and livelihoods".

Today NOAA raised the likelihood of an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in a forecast update.

Up to eight more hurricanes could strike the United States this season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is now warning. Forecasters now expect 10 to 17 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes and two to four major ones. Landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline, according to the NOAA.

This means atmospheric conditions are expected to be more favorable as wind patterns become more hospitable to support storm development. There is now a higher likelihood of an "above-normal" season. A major hurricane is one that produces winds of 111 miles per hour or greater, which is at least category 3 hurricane. Hotter water temperatures fuel storms to become stronger, but Bell said ocean temperatures don't have much impact on a seasonal forecast.

NOAA added, "Seasonal forecasters with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45% [up from 30% from the outlook issued in May]". 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.

"Everyone should know their risk, have a plan and be prepared", Bell said.

The earlier forecast in May reflected the presence of El Niño, the climate phenomenon that warms the Pacific Ocean and tends to prevent storms from developing in the Atlantic.

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