The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has increased the possibility of damaging events and reiterating its prediction that the season will be the most active since 2012, in its 2016 Atlantic hurricane outlook update.
The NOAA has forecast a higher likelihood of a near-normal or above-normal season, and decreased the chance of a below-normal season to only 15 percent, from the original outlook released in May.
Forecasters now predict a 70 percent chance of 12 to 17 names storms, of which five to eight are expected to become hurricanes, including two to four hurricanes.
The initial outlook called for ten to 16 named storms, four to eight hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes. The seasonal averages are 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
“We’ve raised the numbers because some conditions now in place are indicative of a more active hurricane season, such as El Niño ending, weaker vertical wind shear and weaker trade winds over the central tropical Atlantic, and a stronger west African monsoon,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
“However, less conducive ocean temperature patterns in both the Atlantic and eastern subtropical North Pacific, combined with stronger wind shear and sinking motion in the atmosphere over the Caribbean Sea, are expected to prevent the season from becoming extremely active.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bermuda, North America, Insurance, Hurricane risk, Risk management, Gerry Bell