NOAA: Increased chance of a below-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season

NOAA has adjusted its outlook for the rest of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

It says there is an increased likelihood for a below normal season.

Forecasters now say there’s a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season and only a five percent chance of an above-normal season.

In May the Hurricane Center said the probabilities were 50 percent, 40 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
 
“We are more confident that a below-normal season will occur because atmospheric and oceanic conditions that suppress cyclone formation have developed and will persist through the season,” Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement on NOAA’s website.

Bell did issue this caveat: “Nonetheless, tropical storms and hurricanes can strike the U.S. during below-normal seasons, as we have already seen this year when Arthur made landfall in North Carolina as a category-2 hurricane. We urge everyone to remain prepared and be on alert throughout the season.”

NOAA cited a number of factors why a lower-than normal season are possible. It said overall atmospheric conditions are not favorable for storm development. It also said El Niño is still likely to develop and to suppress storm development.

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