Above normal Atlantic hurricane season now the most likely 2019 outcome

Published: Thursday, 15 August 2019 07:18

NOAA says that conditions are now more favorable for above-normal hurricane activity since El Nino has now ended. Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45 percent (up from 30 percent from the outlook issued in May). The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35 percent, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20 percent.

NOAA is now expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This updated outlook is for the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends on November 30th. 

“El Nino typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity but now that it’s gone, we could see a busier season ahead,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “This evolution, combined with the more conducive conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, increases the likelihood of above-normal activity this year.”