With the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, surfers start to get amped watching all the weather forecasts to see where the next blob of low pressure systems appear and start the hype of when we will get the swell, which generally dooms it to not happen. Superstitious? Maybe, but it’s definitely the process that happens more than the waves actually coming.
At any rate, the season starts June 1 through November 30, and this includes Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April. Forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below normal season.
Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including two to four major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces twelve named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
Why are they predicting this increase? “The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near or above average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
"Regardless of how many storms develop this year, it only takes one to disrupt our lives," said Acting FEMA Administrator Robert J. Fenton, Jr. "Get ready now with these easy, low-cost steps that will leave you better prepared and will make all the difference: Have a family discussion about what you will do, where you will go and how you will communicate with each other when a storm threatens; Know your evacuation route; tune into your local news or download the FEMA app to get alerts, and finally – listen to local authorities as a storm approaches.”
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