More Hurricanes Ahead
The NWS and NOAA are calling for three to five major hurricanes.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service now say they expect more named storms, more hurricanes and higher likelihood for an "above normal" Atlantic hurricane season. This forecast has been revised from previous predictions made in May.
Gerry Bell, the lead hurricane season forecaster at the National Weather Service, said the hurricane outlook is revised every year in August. Although hurricane season starts on June 1, peak months of storm activity are traditionally August, September and October.
"We are now entering the peak months," Bell said during a teleconference call with reporters on Thursday. "We're expecting the activity to start picking up."
The new predictions call for an 85 percent chance of an "above normal" season and a 70 percent chance of 14 to 19 named storms, seven to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes during the Atlantic hurricane season. In May, forecasters only called for a 65 percent chance of an "above normal" season and a 70 percent chance of 12 to 18 named storms. These predictions do not imply landfall, Bell said.
The revised predictions are based on warmer-than-predicted temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, among other factors. To date, five named storms have formed in the Atlantic. On Thursday morning, Tropical Storm Emily was located about 100 miles south-southwest of Haiti.
Steve Woodward, deputy assistant administrator for response at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said residents need to prepare for the possibility of disaster.
"We’ve been quite lucky in recent years and have avoided major hurricane landfalls, but that’s no reason to be complacent," Woodward said. "We encourage everyone to visit ready.gov to learn the few simple steps that anyone can take...Get a plan. Get a kit. Stay informed."