More hurricanes possible as NOAA updates peak-season forecast

James Marshall
August 9, 2019

Forecasters say atmospheric conditions have become more favorable for above-normal hurricane activity as the busy part of the 2019 storm season begins.

There's an increased likelihood that this year's Atlantic hurricane season will be above-normal now that the irregular weather pattern known as El Niño has faded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday.

As well, the number of forecasted storms is higher with NOAA calling for 10 to 17 named storms with winds of 39 miles per hour (63 km/h) or greater, of which five to nine will become hurricanes reaching winds of 74 miles per hour (119 km/h) or greater.

No changes were made to the major hurricane (category three or higher) forecast. The effect produces eastward winds in the Caribbean, diminishing storm formation.

These new predictions come with the end of El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, which "typically suppresses" hurricane activity in the Atlantic, according to NOAA.

El Niño has abated since then, making for conditions that increase the likelihood of hurricanes forming, forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said in a statement issued as the hurricane season enters its peak months.

"Just because it's a near-normal year doesn't mean we don't need to prepare", Pfaff said following May's forecast, according to the Charlotte Observer. Vertical wind shear, associated with lower storm formation, continued across the Caribbean over the past month.

Ms Zuill said: “Bermuda has experienced damage from tropical systems that have formed in seasons where the actual seasonal statistics are below average, normal as well as above average.

Pete Gaynor, the acting Fema administrator, said: “Todays updated outlook is a reminder to be prepared.

They said there could be between 10 to 17 named storms. Researchers predict 14 total named storms, seven total hurricanes and two total major hurricanes. Colorado State's forecast still falls within the government's predicted ranges. Landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline.

Residents of coastal areas should remain prepared, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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