CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – NOAA’s national hurricane outlook predicts an increased number of hurricanes this year.
22News tuned in to NOAA’s national hurricane outlook webinar for August to October and gained some insight from Matthew Rosencrans, the lead hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center.
Rosencrans claims that conditions related to El Niño are slower to emerge over the Atlantic Ocean than expected, and sea surface temperature is at its peak warmth. Currently, our sea surface temperature is at its warmest since NOAA began recording in 1950, with each year warmer than the previous.
With this being said, NOAA predicted 14-21 named storms, 6-11 of those being hurricanes, and 2-5 of them being major hurricanes (category 3-5). This outlook indicates more hurricanes than expected. This information was given with a 70% confidence range.
El Niño conditions are known for creating more wind shear over the Atlantic, which evidently creates a weaker storm structure. Typical El Niño years reduce the number of hurricanes seen, commonly with only nine named storms and two major hurricanes. However, with these conditions not emerging until September, stronger and more hurricanes can develop.
In comparison to May, the odds of an above-average national hurricane season have increased. Looking at the bigger picture, this outlook is in line with the previous years but still above average.
NOAA asserts that people shouldn’t worry, but instead prepare for the possibility of hurricanes. Check out Ready.gov for tips on preparing and staying safe during hurricanes and other natural disasters.
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