NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season
Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is projecting a 70% probability of the following ranges:
- 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
- 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
- 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
The outlook ranges exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.
Expected factors supporting this outlook are:
- Upper atmospheric winds conducive for storms. Wind shear, which can tear apart storms, will be weaker since El Niño in the eastern Pacific has dissipated. Strong wind shear helped suppress storm development during the 2009 hurricane season.
- Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures are expected to remain above average where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic. Record warm temperatures – up to 4 °F above average – are now present in this region.
- High activity era continues. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in sync, leading to more active hurricane seasons. Eight of the last 15 seasons rank in the top 10 for the most named storms, with 2005 in first place with 28 named storms.
"FEMA is working across the administration and with our state and local partners to ensure we're prepared for hurricane season," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "But we can only be as prepared as the public, so it's important that families and businesses in coastal communities take steps now to be ready. These include developing a communications plan, putting together a kit, and staying informed of the latest forecasts and local emergency plans. You can't control when a hurricane or other emergency may happen, but you can make sure you're ready."
The president recently designated May 23-29, 2010, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. NOAA and FEMA encourage those living in hurricane-prone states to use this time to review their overall preparedness. More information on individual and family preparedness can be found at www.Ready.gov and www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.
NOAA scientists will continue to monitor evolving conditions in the tropics and will issue an updated hurricane outlook in early August, just prior to what is historically the peak period for hurricane activity.
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