Forecasters: Chances still good for active hurricane season

Posted August 8, 2013

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— Forecasters with the national Climate Prediction Center updated their Atlantic hurricane season outlook Thursday, saying there is still about a 70 percent chance for an above-normal season of 13 to 19 named storms. 

As the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season – which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 – approaches, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters said conditions are still favorable for storm development thanks to sea surface temperatures and a strong rainy season in West Africa. Hurricane and flags WRAL Hurricane Center with interactive tracker

"Two of the four named storms to date formed deep in the tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season," Gerry Bell, NOAA's lead season hurricane forecaster, said in a statement. 

Although forecasters remain confident in the possibility of above-normal hurricane activity in the final three months of the season, they said Thursday that the chances for extreme levels of activity have diminished. 

Still, they predict six to nine hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes. In the past 30 years, the Atlantic basin has averaged 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

"It could be a little while before we see any major development in the tropics," WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson said. "One reason is we've been dealing with the Saharan Air Layer, which is intensely dry, dust-filled air that blows over the Atlantic Ocean. It inhibits tropical development."

National emergency officials said Thursday that people should be prepared for the potential of storms making landfall.

“The peak of the hurricane season is almost upon us and it’s important to remain prepared for hurricanes through November," said Joe Nimmich, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Make sure to review your family emergency plan, check that your emergency kit is stocked and consider insurance options."


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  • orangeone Aug 9, 2013


  • Wacky_dood Aug 8, 2013

    I like science as much as the next guy. But these long term predictions are useless. They're too inaccurate for the information to be actionable. I can't build a bunker, trade stock in insurance companies or ag futures on such inaccurate information. They can't predict where or even if the hurricanes will make landfall. About all they're good for is fodder for conversations around the water cooler. When they get something on satellite and the predicted trajectory shows landfall, then I'll pay attention. These annual spring predictions are just a waste of time.

  • Wilson Andrew Craig, III Aug 8, 2013


    um, Fran was a heck of a Hurricane as well.

  • oleguy Aug 8, 2013

    If they didnt play up and ride out every little Blow that comes by people might pay more attention, Every time a big wave leaves the coast of Africa, they get out the charts, and name every wind gust..Hazel now that was a storm.

  • Cock a doodle doo Aug 8, 2013

    "Every year, the same prediction. Not one hurricane. At some point, they will be right."- senex

    What planet have you been on? Last year there were 19 storms, 10 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes.
    In 2011 there 20 storms, 7 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. I could keep going...

  • raleighboy524 Aug 8, 2013

    WRAL is hyping this to promote its new weather center -- as it has been doing constantly for weeks. As I've said before -- in several posts that have never made it past the "censors" and I'm sure this one won't either -- WRAL catastrophizes even routine weather events. A shower becomes a potential threat for flooding, etc.

  • Wilson Andrew Craig, III Aug 8, 2013


    FYI---Not everyone is from North Carolina. Not everyone has been through a Hurricane in the US. The information is relevant. Just because YOU know the hurricane season is June to November does not mean that everyone knows.

    Derp. Hello.

  • WralCensorsAreBias Aug 8, 2013


  • TriangleMommy Aug 8, 2013

    senex - really? when was the last time there was not a SINGLE Hurricane during the season?
    Maybe a few where none made landfall, or none did major damage.
    But there are hurricanes every year.

  • Radioactive Ted Aug 8, 2013

    "Every year, the same prediction. Not one hurricane. At some point, they will be right."

    I presume you mean "Not one hurricane that hit my house." I'm always amazed at the level of self-involvement on these boards. Hurricane forecasting has improved tremendously over the years, although there is still a long way to go. If you look at the initial forecasts in the Spring, they will nearly always include how well they did in the previous year or two.