Hurricane Season Will Be Normal-to-Below Normal, NOAA Forecasts
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that this hurricane season will be normal-to-below normal this year.
Their forecast, which was released Thursday, seems to agree with the prediction from two Colorado State University forecasters who said in April that only three hurricanes will likely form this year.
Specifically, NOAA says we should expect three to six hurricanes this year, which would keep things normal, or below normal.
Six hurricanes make up a normal season.
There will be 8 to 13 named storms, and only one or two major hurricanes forming.
Last month, Phil Klotzbach and William Gray of Colorado State University, said that the 2014 hurricane season will be a mild one, thanks mainly to El Niño coming in.
And NOAA echoes that forecast, saying that El Niño will be a major reason why hurricanes will fail to form this season.
According to NOAA, El Niño disrupts the formation of storms with a stronger wind shear than usual in the Atlantic, reducing the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes. Moreover, it acts like a steroid for trade winds and atmospheric stability.
Basically, while El Niño can be a tad unpredictable, it more often than not steers hurricanes away from Florida or messes up hurricanes coming off the coast of Africa altogether.
Of course, that doesn't mean we can't or won't get hit. Only that are chances are reduced.
"Thanks to the environmental intelligence from NOAA's network of earth observations, our scientists and meteorologists can provide life-saving products like our new storm surge threat map and our hurricane forecasts," said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA administrator, via a press release. "And even though we expect El Niño to suppress the number of storms this season, it's important to remember it takes only one land falling storm to cause a disaster."