Glenroy Brown, May 20, 2011
Atlantic basin is expected to see an above-normal hurricane season this
The Atlantic basin is expected to see an
above-normal hurricane season this year, according to the seasonal
by NOAA’s Climate Prediction
Center, a division of the National Weather Service.
The Atlantic Basin for the six-month season,
from June 1 to November 30, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this
12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which:
6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including:
3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)
Each of these ranges has 70% likelihood and
indicates that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two
NOAA said last year's hurricane season was one of the
busiest on record, with 19 named storms, including 12 hurricanes.
Climate factors considered for this outlook
The continuing high activity era. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought ocean
and atmospheric conditions conducive for development in sync, leading to more active Atlantic
Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures where storms often develop and move across the
Atlantic are up to one degrees Celsius warmer-than-average.
La Niña, which continues to weaken in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, is expected to dissipate later
this month or in June, but its impacts such as reduced wind shear are expected to continue into the
“In addition to multiple climate factors,
seasonal climate models also indicate an above-normal season is likely, and even suggest we could
see activity comparable to some of the active seasons since 1995.
NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook does not predict where and when any of these storms may hit.
Landfall is dictated by weather patterns in place at the time the storm approaches. For each
storm, NOAA’s National Hurricane
how these weather patterns affect the storm
track, intensity and landfall potential.
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