Oh the weather outside is frightful… or, it will be soon. Because forecasters say this year’s hurricane season will be a doozy.
Weather.com reports that we’ll see even more tropical storms and hurricanes this season. The NOAA, who’s been looking at weather patterns to determine what we’re in store for, came out with a pretty bleak prediction.
As of right now, they estimate that we have a 60 percent chance of having an “extremely active” season. Meaning, the number of expected named storms jumped from 14 to 19. On top of that, they also expect up to 9 hurricanes. Several, of which, will be a category 3 hurricane or more.
If you need a reference point, this year’s projected average trumps the Atlantic Basin’s 30-year historical average. Between 1981 and 2010, we saw about 12 named storms a year and six hurricanes.
Colorado State University’s final forecast also backed up the NOAA’s prediction. They expect 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 3 of which will be category 3 or worse.
The increase in storms is all thanks to a smaller possibility of El Niño developing later this summer. Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, explained why this isn’t the greatest news:
“The chance of an El Niño forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May.”
Basically, no El Niño means hurricane breeding season. Or, to put it more gently, the ball is in their court.
But, only time will tell if these predictions are true. Although the season started as of June 1st, it runs through November 30th. So, we have ways to go to see if these reports hit the nail on the head. Already, six named storms swirled around the Atlantic. But, they really didn’t do anything besides nothing.
Although, chances of another Hurricane Irene or Sandy barreling up the coastline remains to be seen, forecasters say it could happen.
Either way, it’s probably a good idea to stock up on the necessities so you have them just in case. No one wants to wrestle an old lady over a pack of batteries in the middle of Wal-Mart after weather forecasters promise fire and brimstone to fall from the skies.