May 22 2014

NOAA predicts near-normal or below-normal 2014 Atlantic hurricane season

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NOAA issued the Atlantic hurricane outlook for 2014 and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a near-normal or below-normal season.

The outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season. For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 8 to 13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

These numbers are near or below the seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, based on the average from 1981 to 2010. The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Visit the NOAA website for more information about the hurricane outlook.

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The outlook comes just in time for Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 25-May 31). NOAA is rolling out new tools at the National Hurricane Center this year. An experimental mapping tool will be used to show communities their storm surge flood threat. The map will be issued for coastal areas when a hurricane or tropical storm watch is first issued, or approximately 48 hours before the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds. The map will show land areas where storm surge could occur and how high above ground the water could reach in those areas.

Learn more about hurricane preparedness at http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
Click here to read more about how JPSS satellites will make hurricane forecasts even more precise.