THURSDAY, JUNE 7: Government forecasters are calling for an average, or slightly below-average storm season, with nine to 15 named storms, including four to eight hurricanes.
They project that one to three of the hurricanes will be major, with winds greater than 110 mph.
The average season sees 12 named storms, including six hurricanes, three major.
Following suit with other climatic experts, forecasters for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the Atlantic’s sea surface temperatures are not expected to be as warm as in years past.
Also, there is a chance that El Nino, the atmospheric force that suppresses tropical systems, may emerge by the heart of the hurricane season, which runs from mid-August through October.
“El Nino tends to produce wind shear, which can kill off hurricanes,” said Gerry Bell, NOAA’s lead hurricane forecaster.
With the emergence of Tropical Storm Alberto, the storm season got off to an early start.
Despite the relatively tame outlook, forecasters note that residents should prepare the same as they would for a busy year, as a powerful hurricane can hit in any season.
The prime example: Hurricane Andrew struck Miami-Dade County in 1992, a year that otherwise saw only six named storms.
In April, Phil Klotzbach and William Gray of Colorado State University predicted 10 named storms, including four hurricanes, two major. They will give an update today (June 1).
WSI, a part of The Weather Channel, is calling for 11 named storms, including six hurricanes, with two of those being major. That also would amount to a slightly slower than normal season.
AccuWeather.com is predicting a slightly slower than normal season.
The season runs from June 1 to November 30.