NOAA Predicts Near-Normal 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season

| May 24, 2019 @ 5:00 am

By Dennis Washington

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center says the Atlantic basin should experience a near-normal hurricane season this year.

The forecast, announced Thursday morning, predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, which means a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those 9 to 15 storms, 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA says it is 70% confident in these ranges.

“With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, NOAA is leveraging cutting-edge tools to help secure Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement. “Throughout hurricane season, dedicated NOAA staff will remain on alert for any danger to American lives and communities.”NOAA says determining this outlook was challenging due to competing climate factors. The ongoing El Nino is expected to persist and suppress the intensity of the hurricane season, but warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and an enhanced west African monsoon, both favor increased hurricane activity.

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