NOAA Still Expects Active Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Basin remains on track for an active hurricane season, according to the scheduled seasonal outlook update issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.

NOAA also announced that, as predicted last spring, La Niña has formed in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This favors lower wind shear over the Atlantic Basin, allowing storm clouds to grow and organize. Other climate factors pointing to an active hurricane season are warmer-than-average water in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean, and the tropical multi-decadal signal, which since 1995 has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in unison, leading to more active seasons.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the whole season—1 June to 30 November—NOAA’s updated outlook is projecting, with a 70% probability, a total of (including Alex, Bonnie and Colin):

  • 14 to 20 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 8 to 12 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 4 to 6 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

These ranges are still indicative of an active season, compared to the average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes; however, the upper bounds of the ranges have been lowered from the initial outlook in late May, which reflected the possibility of even more early season activity.

In May, the forecast was:

  • 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)


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