Slow Atlantic hurricane season expected

Predictions for a below-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic are supported in an update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. 

In May, the Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook predicted a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season. Last week’s update predicted an increase in the chance of a below-normal season to 70 percent. 

The outlook suggests a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season and only a 5 percent chance of an above-normal season. The probabilities in the initial outlook issued on May 22 were 50 percent, 40 percent and 10 percent, respectively. 

Gerry Bell of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said forecasters are more confident that a below-normal season would occur because atmospheric and oceanic conditions that suppress cyclone formation have developed and will persist through the season. 

“Nonetheless, tropical storms and hurricanes can strike the U.S. during below-normal seasons, as we have already seen this year when Arthur made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane,” Mr. Bell said. 

“We urge everyone to remain prepared and be on alert throughout the season.” 

This year’s season has included Hurricane Arthur and Bertha, and a tropical storm. 

Remaining hurricane names are Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.