Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013, from NOAA's GOES East satellite.
(News-Press) -- The Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to be above normal and
very active, according to Thursday's update to NOAA's season outlook.
confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the
predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for
storm development have materialized," said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal
hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, a division of
the National Weather Service.
"Also, two of the four named
storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically
is an indicator of an active season."
The season has already produced four named storms, with the peak of the season - between August and October - still to come.
The updated outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season, including the chance for the following:
- 13 to 19 named storms (including the storms to date: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, and Dorian)
- 6 to 9 hurricanes
- 3 to 5 could be major hurricanes
These ranges are above the 30-year seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
update differs from the pre-season outlook issued in May with the
reduced expectation for extreme levels of activity. In May, the outlook
called for 13-20 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes.
atmospheric conditions are similar to those that have produced many
active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995, including above-average
sea temperatures and a stronger rainy season in West Africa, which
contributes wind patterns that help create tropical storms and