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NOAA Issues Forecast For Above Normal Hurricane Season

By Sue Richards last modified May 20, 2011 10:40 AM

Published: 2011-05-20 10:40:38
Topics: Weather

On May 19, 2011, the Climate Prediction Center issued NOAA's outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season.

The Atlantic basin is expected to see an above-normal hurricane season this year. Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this year:

  • 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 a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

“The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season’s tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “However we can’t count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook.”

The center cited above-normal sea surface temperatures, a weakening La Niña, and the effect of the warm regime of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation as the bases behind their forecast, adding that seasonal climate models hint that "activity comparable to some of the active seasons since 1995" could occur.

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 Center forecasts how these weather patterns affect the storm track, intensity and landfall potential.

For more see here

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