NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Those living on the east coast or along the Gulf can expect a “near-normal” hurricane season this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts. However, they did say climate signals that influence the formation of storms in the Atlantic make predicting this season “particularly difficult.”
NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms. Of those storms, they predict 4 to 8 will become hurricanes, including 1 to 4 major hurricanes of a category 3, 4 or 5.
The say while a near-normal season is most likely with a 45 percent chance, there is also a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season.
“This is a more challenging hurricane season outlook than most because it’s difficult to determine whether there will be reinforcing or competing climate influences on tropical storm development,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “However, a near-normal prediction for this season suggests we could see more hurricane activity than we’ve seen in the last three years, which were below normal.”
Hurricane Alex the pre-season storm that formed over the far eastern Atlantic in January was included in the outlook.
— NOAA (@NOAA) May 27, 2016