Era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes continues
For the six-month hurricane season, which begins 1 June, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 per cent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which seven to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including three to six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Three climate factors that strongly control Atlantic hurricane activity are expected to come together to produce an active or extremely active 2013 hurricane season. These are:
A continuation of the atmospheric climate pattern, which includes a strong west African monsoon, that is responsible for the ongoing era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995;
Warmer-than-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea; and
El Niño is not expected to develop and suppress hurricane formation.
NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast; it does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike.
Forecasts for individual storms and their impacts will be provided throughout the season by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.