Forecasters predict up to five major hurricanes

POSTED: 08/8/11 12:40 PM

St. Maarten – The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season will bring an above average number of storms and hurricanes, the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate prediction center CPC announced last week. The CPC foresees 14 to 19 storms, 7 to 10 hurricanes and 3 to 5 major hurricanes. The prediction is in line with findings by hurricane forecasters at the University of Colorado that predicts 9 hurricanes, of which 5 are major ones, 80 storm days and 35 hurricane days.
The NOAA’s updated 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook calls for an 85% chance of an above-normal season, and a 15% chance of a near-normal season. There is no expectation for a below-normal season. Therefore, 2011 is expected to become the twelfth above-normal season since 1995. This updated outlook reflects a higher likelihood of an above-normal season compared to the pre-season outlook issued in May, which indicated a 65% chance of an above-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.
The higher confidence of an above-normal season is based on several factors. First, as predicted in May, conducive atmospheric and oceanic conditions are now in place over the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea – the so-called Main Development Region or MDR. Second, these conditions are expected to persist throughout the peak months from August until October in association with the tropical multi-decadal signal, which has contributed to the high activity era that began in 1995. Thirdly, sea-surface temperatures in the MDR are the third warmest on record, and models predict that they will remain high throughout the season. The fourth reason for above—average activity is the possibility of La Niña re-developing.
Historically, this combination of conditions produces an active Atlantic hurricane season. In addition, several dynamical model forecasts of the number and strength of tropical cyclones indicate that an above normal season is likely.
The 2011 season is expected to be comparable to a number of active seasons since 1995. The NOAA estimates a 70% probability for the development of between 14 and 19 named storms, between 7 and 10 hurricanes, and between 3 and 5 major hurricanes.
The seasonal activity is expected to fall within these ranges in 7 out of 10 seasons with similar climate conditions and uncertainties to those expected this year. These ranges do not represent the total possible ranges of activity seen in past similar years.
The official seasonal averages published by the National Hurricane Center are 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes.

To date, five tropical storms (Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, and Emily) have formed in the Atlantic basin.
The NOAA does not make an official seasonal hurricane landfall outlook. Predicting where and when hurricanes will strike is related to daily weather patterns, which are not reliably predictable weeks or months in advance. Therefore, it is currently not possible to reliably predict the number or intensity of land falling hurricanes at these extended ranges, or whether a given locality will be impacted by a hurricane this season.
However, the forecasters say, “It only takes one storm hitting your area to cause a disaster.” The organization therefore urges residents, businesses, and government agencies, of coastal and near-coastal regions to prepare for every hurricane season regardless of seasonal forecasts.

Did you like this? Share it:
Forecasters predict up to five major hurricanes by

Comments are closed.