Peak Hurricane Season Forecast: Active

tropical storm dorian 2013

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season still holds for a 70% chance of above-average activity, meaning lots of storms.

Four named storms have already been recorded, including Chantal and Dorian, which formed in the deep tropical Atlantic—an indicator that the season to come will have many more storms. Forecasters say there could be as many as 15 more named storms (13-19 overall for the season, above the average of 12), and as many as five of them could be major hurricanes (3-5 overall).

Peak hurricane season in the Atlantic begins in August and extends through September into October.

The Atlantic has been particularly active since about 1995, as part of a longterm pattern, linked to above-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean Sea, and an enhanced west African monsoon. There’s little chance (8%) of a bulwark coming from an El Nino pattern in the Pacific, which tends to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity. There’s about a one-in-five chance of a La Nina pattern forming that could make the season even more active.

With the increased storm activity comes a higher likelihood that a hurricane will strike the Caribbean islands or the mainland U.S. “However, regardless of the activity predicted in the seasonal outlook, it only takes one storm hitting an area to cause a disaster,” NOAA warns. “Therefore, residents, businesses, and government agencies of coastal and near-coastal regions are urged to prepare every hurricane season regardless of this, or any other, seasonal outlook.”

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