Posted by: pyeager | August 6, 2011

Updated Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast: Increase in Named Storms

By Paul Yeager, author of Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

NOAA recently increased the number of named storms (hurricanes and tropical storms) that it expects during this Atlantic hurricane season.

NOAA expects:

  • 14 to 19 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 7 to 10 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 3 to 5 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

This increase is fairly minor since the pre-season forecast (sounds like a football reference) was for 12 to 18 storms and 6 to 10 hurricanes, so the main thing to take from the updated forecast is that NOAA is still expecting it to be an active and potentially dangerous season.

Emily, which is re-generating the Atlantic, is the 5th named storm of the season, which might seem like a slow start, but it’s not. The peak of hurricane season is roughly from mid-August through September, but NOAA expects the conditions to remain favorable for hurricane through October.

Maybe the U.S. will get lucky as it did last year when there 19 named storms but little impact…but we need to remain prepared and wary. Back-to-back active seasons with little impact is unlikely.

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