MIAMI (CBSMiami) – NOAA still believes the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be above normal with “the possibility that it could be very active,” according to the organizations updated outlook.
The peak of hurricane season, roughly mid-August through October, is still on the horizon and the season has produced four named storms already.
“Our confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for storm development have materialized,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “Also, two of the four named storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season.”
NOAA said the conditions that are in place right now mirror those that have produced active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995 including above-average Atlantic sea temperatures and a strong rainy season in West Africa.
According to the updated outlook, there’s a 70 percent chance of an above normal season which will end on November 30. The 70 percent chance calls for 13 to 19 names storms of which six to nine will be hurricanes and of those, three to five could be major hurricanes.
The 30-year seasonal average is 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
NOAA said the updated outlook is similar to the preseason outlook, but has a reduced expectation of extreme levels of activity. NOAA said the reason behind this is that there is less of a chance that La Niña will develop and reduce the wind shear.