Published: 2013-08-08 11:50:00
Updated: 2013-08-08 13:17:39
Posted August 8, 2013
Miami — 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. 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."