The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its mid-season outlook that conditions have changed to allow for "above normal" hurricane activity this year.
"NOAA will continue to deliver the information that the public depends on before, during and after any storms throughout the hurricane season,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “Armed with our next-generation satellites, sophisticated weather models, hurricane hunter aircraft, and the expertise of our forecasters, we are prepared to keep communities informed to help save lives and livelihoods.”
Seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45% (up from 30 percent from the outlook issued in May). The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35 percent, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20 percent.
The number of predicted storms is also greater with NOAA now expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This updated outlook is for the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30.
On average, the Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. NOAA’s hurricane season outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline.
“Today’s updated outlook is a reminder to be prepared,” said Pete Gaynor, acting FEMA administrator. “We urge everyone to learn more about hurricane hazards and prepare now, ahead of time, so that if state and local authorities announce evacuations in advance of a storm, you and your family will have planned where to go and what to do to stay safe.”
The FEMA Ready Campaign and its federal partners released videos that show the deadly threat from tropical weather, specifically hurricane storm surge and flooding, to help emphasize the importance of following the instructions of state and local authorities in advance of a storm. The 15, 30 and 60-second video clips are available for broadcast or social media distribution and complement additional storm surge resources from NOAA.