An “above normal” hurricane season still expected on the Atlantic coast

Photo by Chandler France

There is a 60% chance of an above normal hurricane season, with six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes expected.

Universal History Archive/Universal History Archive/Universe

Despite only three named storms in the first half of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, the season is still expected to be “above normal,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The organization said there was a 60 per cent chance the season would be above par this year, down slightly from a May projection that called for a 65 per cent chance. August through October are peak months for hurricane season, NOAA said.

NOAA predicts 14 to 20 named storms (storms with winds over 39 mph) this season, six to 10 hurricanes (winds over 74 mph), and three to five major hurricanes (winds over 111+ mph). They make this prediction with 70% confidence, the organization said. The “average” hurricane season has 14 named storms, of which seven are hurricanes and three have become major hurricanes.

The 2021 hurricane season was the third most active hurricane season on record with 21 named storms, NOAA said in November last year. This was the sixth consecutive above-normal hurricane season.

NOAA said the prediction is not an expectation of how many storms will make landfall. Last season, eight storms hit US soil, but Texas was largely spared. Last summer’s strongest storm, Hurricane Ida, which was the fifth-largest storm to make landfall in the United States, primarily affected the Louisiana coast.

Several factors are contributing to NOAA’s expectations for the remainder of this year’s hurricane season, the organization said. La Niña conditions, weaker Atlantic tropical winds, an active monsoon from West Africa and Atlantic Ocean surface temperatures that are forecast to be above normal all point to the likelihood of a strong hurricane season.

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