Hurricane Season Forecast Update: Not Extremely Active


On 11 August another update was issued for the Hurricane Season by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), stating that there is a higher likelihood of a near-normal or above-normal hurricane season. It was learned that the season is still expected to be the most active since 2012.

In the new report forecasters now expect a 70-percent chance of 12–17 named storms, of which five to eight are expected to become hurricanes, including two to four major hurricanes. Whereas, the initial outlook called for 10–16 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.

Gerry Bell, Ph.D., Lead Seasonal Hurricane Forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center explained that the update was made following the receipt of new information: “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,” he said.

“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,” Bell added.

As of 11 August, there have been five named storms in 2016, including two hurricanes (Alex and Earl). Four made landfall: Bonnie (in South Carolina), Colin (in western Florida), Danielle (in eastern Mexico), and Earl (in Belize and Mexico).