MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While South Florida has been able to avoid much of the hurricane activity in the last few years, it may be more difficult this year if NOAA’s outlook for the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season comes to fruition.
NOAA predicted an above-normal to possibly extremely active hurricane season in 2013. NOAA forecasters said the averages were well above the seasonal averages for a normal Atlantic hurricane season.
NOAA is forecasting 13-20 named storms of which seven to 11 will become hurricanes. NOAA said at least 3-6 of the hurricanes will be major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 or above.
NOAA said there was a slightly larger named storm range this year because there was greater uncertainty this year over where there will be a few longer-lived storms or multiple shorter-lived storms during the year.
The normal range for a season is an average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
“This year, oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic basin are expected to produce more and stronger hurricanes,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “These conditions include weaker wind shear, warmer Atlantic waters and conducive winds patterns coming from Africa.”
According to NOAA, there was a confluence of climate factors including: a continuation of the climate pattern impacting the hurricane season that started in 1995, warmer than average sea surface temperatures, and near average temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, meaning there is no El Niñ0 this year.