MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year.
The outlook forecasts a 40% chance of near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal seasonal and a 30% chance for below-normal season.
The hurricane season officially extends from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The 2019 Hurricane Season, NOAA predicts a likely range of nine to 15 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher of which four to eight could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, including two to four major hurricanes category 3, 4 or 5 with winds 111 mph or higher.
NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
This year’s outlook reflects competing climate factors. The ongoing El Nino is expected to continue and suppress the intensity of the hurricane season.
Countering the El Nino is the expected combination of warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea and an enhanced west African monsoon, both of which favor increased hurricane activity.
In May, the National Hurricane Center already named one Subtropical Storm Andrea, which was southwest of Bermuda. With winds sustained around 40 mph, the low-powered storm quickly dissipated and is no longer named.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2019 Atlantic seasonal outlook in August just prior to the historical peal of the season.
Keep it with the WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather center for the latest on the tropics and Mid-South weather.