The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has updated their 2019 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Outlook, indicating an above-normal season is projected as we enter the most active period of the tropics.
For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms, of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes, including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5;). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.
This outlook reflects competing climate factors. The ongoing El Nino is expected to persist and suppress the intensity of the hurricane season.NOAA FORECAST, RELEASED MAY 2019
The latest forecast changes stem from a weakening and the end of El Niño. During an El Niño, the waters around the equatorial Pacific Ocean are warmer than usual, leading to more hurricane development. In the Atlantic, stronger wind shear is present and reduces the development of tropical systems.
With El Niño now no longer a factor, the projections of an active August through October tropical period are likely. Here are the latest numbers from NOAA and Colorado State University. Click here to read more about NOAA’s updated forecast.
So far this season, we’ve had Subtropical Storm Andrea & Hurricane Barry. The tropical season for the Atlantic Basin started on June 1st and continues through November 30th.