NOAA Still Expects Active Atlantic Hurricane Season

August 5, 2010

The Atlantic Basin remains on track for an active hurricane season, according to the scheduled seasonal outlook update issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. With the season’s peak just around the corner – late August through October – the need for preparedness plans is essential.

NOAA also announced today that, as predicted last spring, La Niña has formed in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This 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, which since 1995 has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in unison, leading to more active seasons.

“August heralds the start of the most active phase of the Atlantic hurricane season and with the meteorological factors in place, now is the time for everyone living in hurricane prone areas to be prepared,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

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)

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