|Hurricane Alex, the first named storm of the 2010|
Atlantic hurricane season, hits northeast Mexico on June 30.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
As we approach the peak of the hurricane season (late August - October) it is imperative that we stay vigilant and prepared for the dangers of tropical storms.
The Atlantic Basin remains on track for an active hurricane season, according to the scheduled seasonal outlook update issued this week by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), a division of the National Weather Service (NWS). The need for preparedness plans is essential. We covered the original forecast during Hurricane Preparedness Week.
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Tropical Storm Colin, which we've been tracking, has become a Tropical Depression once again. Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the whole season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated outlook is projecting, with a 70 percent probability, a total of (including Alex, Bonnie and Colin):
- 14 to 20 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
- 8 to 12 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
- 4 to 6 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
La Niña Develops
La Niña has formed in the tropical Pacific Ocean which favors lower wind shear over the Atlantic Basin, allowing storm clouds to grow and organize. Other climate factors pointing to an active hurricane season are warmer-than-average water in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean, and the tropical multi-decadal signal.