All in: 2014 tropical outlooks issued
Thursday Morning, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center forecasters issued their prediction for the 2014 Atlantic Tropical Hurricane season, following an April forecast from experts at Colorado State University.
NOAA is anticipating near to below normal activity during the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Forecasters have projected 8-13 named storms, 3-6 hurricanes and 1-2 major hurricanes (category 3 strength or higher). More specifically, the outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near normal season and only a 10 percent chance of an above normal season.
In April, Dr. Phillip J. Klotzbach and Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, predicted 9 named storms and 3 hurricanes with one reaching major classification.
Annual averages are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
Both NOAA and CSU experts believe the focus of this year's outlook is the expectation of a moderate to strong El Nino developing in mid to late 2014. El Nino creates stronger wind shear across the Atlantic Tropical Basin which tends to diminish tropical cyclone development. Dr. Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster of NOAA's CPC, added that, "the expectation of near-average Atlantic Ocean temperatures this season, rather than the above-average temperatures seen since 1995 also suggest fewer Atlantic hurricanes."
The Atlantic Tropics have been in a particularly vigorous spell since 1995 with 12 of the last 20 years producing above normal activity.
Of course, the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season featured well below average action, despite high expectations from both NOAA and Colorado State University. According to the National Hurricane Center, in terms of accumulated cyclone energy (which measures the combined strength and duration of all tropical cyclones), tropical activity was nearly 70 percent below the 1981-2010 average. Furthermore, there were no United States hurricane strikes for only the sixth time since 1951-- 2000, 2001, 2006, 2009 and 2010 being the other years.
Coastal residents are reminded by both NOAA and Colorado State University that these outlooks are simply aimed at projecting tropical activity, not landfalls. "It only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them... prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much or how little activity is predicted," said Klotzbach and Gray.
You can get forecasts from Meteorologist Josh Eachus weekdays on 2une-In from 5-7am and News 2 at Noon from 12-1pm. Additionally, you can get the fastest and latest forecasts and weather news by checking in with wbrz.com/weather, liking Josh on Facebook and following him on Twitter.