|Conditions During Peak Months (Credit: NOAA)|
Every May the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issues a preliminary Atlantic hurricane season outlook. An updated outlook is released in August, which is the beginning of the peak months of the season. NOAA Press Release
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For 2010, the outlook calls for a 85% chance of an above normal season, a 10% chance of a near normal season, and only a 5% chance of a below normal season. An average Atlantic hurricane season features approximately 11 named storms (maximum sustained surface winds between 39-73 mph), with six of those becoming hurricanes (maximum sustained surface winds of at least 74 mph) and two becoming major hurricanes (maximum sustained surface winds exceeding 111 mph, categories 3-5 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale).
Since 1995, we have been in an era of high activity with an average of 14.5 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes with an average ACE index of 160% of the median.
- 14-23 Named Storms
- 8-14 Hurricanes
- 3-7 Major Hurricanes
- ACE range of 155% - 270% of the median
Due to the ongoing oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, NOAA's outlook includes statistical data of tropical cyclone activity for this region. Historically, all above normal seasons have produced at least one named storm in the Gulf of Mexico, and 95% of those seasons have at least two named storms in the Gulf. Most of this activity (80%) occurs during August-October. However, 50% of above normal seasons have had at least one named storm in the region during June-July.
Three climate factors, all of which are conducive historically to increased tropical cyclone activity, were included in the model used to formulate this outlook. These climate factors are: 1) the tropical multi-decadal signal, which has contributed to the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, 2) a continuation of exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Main Development Region, and 3) either ENSO-neutral or La Niña conditions, with La Niña becoming increasingly likely. (see ENSO forecast models)
As a service to my readers, we will monitor tropical storms and provide updates. Starting June 1st, we'll add the RSS feeds so that you'll be able to get up to the minute forecasts and advisories from NOAA. Cruise lines monitor tropical storms and may provide advisories of their own. Those will also be shared with you.
NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season
Above Average 2010 Hurricane Forecast (Colorado State University)
Atlantic Hurricane Outlook & Seasonal Climate Summary Archive
Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
NOAA/ National Weather Service
WMO Severe Weather Info Centre
National Hurricane Center (NHC)
NWS Regional Offices and Centers
Realtime monitoring of tropical Atlantic conditions
More links and information about tropical storms and other weather conditions can be found in the Weather tab above.
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