The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a near-normal 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center says the outlook forecasts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.
The organization predicts a likely range of 9-15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher) of which 4-8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2-4 major hurricanes (at least category 3 with winds of 111 mph or higher).
NOAA says it provides those ranges with a 70% confidence.
“With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, NOAA is leveraging cutting-edge tools to help secure Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Throughout hurricane season, dedicated NOAA staff will remain on alert for any danger to American lives and communities.”
NOAA cites climate factors like El Niño and the expected combination of warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and an enhanced west African monsoon, both of which favor increased hurricane activity.
“New satellite data and other upgrades to products and services from NOAA enable a more Weather-Ready Nation by providing the public and decision makers with the information needed to take action before, during, and after a hurricane,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator.
We have already had a named storm (Andrea) and the next one will be Barry. For a full list of the 2019 storm names, click here.