While the forecast for the Atlantic Hurricane season is active and for 12-16 named storms, the Pacific forecast is just in time to coincide with recent pronouncements of no link between global warming and hurricane frequency, this just in:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 22, 2008
*** NEWS FROM NOAA ***
NATIONAL OCEANIC & ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Contact: Carmeyia Gillis 301-763-8000, ext. 7163
NOAA Predicts a Below-Normal Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center today
announced that projected climate conditions point
to a below-normal hurricane season in the eastern Pacific this year.
“Living in a coastal state means having a
plan for each and every hurricane season. Review
or complete emergency plans now – before a storm
threatens,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C.
Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce
for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
“Planning and preparation is the key to storm survival and recovery.”
The Climate Prediction Center outlook
calls for a 70 percent probability of a below
normal season, a 25 percent probability of a near
normal season, and a 5 percent probably of an above normal season.
Allowing for forecast uncertainties,
seasonal hurricane forecasters estimate a 60 to
70 percent chance of 11 to 16 named storms,
including five to eight hurricanes and one to
three major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5 on
the Saffir-Simpson scale).
An average eastern Pacific hurricane
season produces 15 to 16 named storms, with nine
becoming hurricanes and four to five becoming major hurricanes.
Among the factors influencing this year’s
eastern Pacific outlook are the multi decadal
signal – the atmospheric conditions that have
decreased hurricane activity over the eastern
Pacific Ocean since 1995 – and the expected
lingering effects of La Niña.
“La Nin?a conditions have weakened since
February and may become neutral by summer’s end,”
said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane
forecaster at the center. “We typically see less
hurricane activity in the eastern Pacific when La Nin?a is active or neutral.”
“The outlook is a general guide to the
overall seasonal hurricane activity,”
Lautenbacher said. “It does not predict whether,
where or when any of these storms may hit land.
That is the job of the National Hurricane Center after a storm forms.”
Bill Read, director of NOAA’s National
Hurricane Center, said, “Our forecasters are
ready to track any tropical cyclone, from a
depression to a hurricane, which forms in the
eastern Pacific. We urge coastal residents to
have a hurricane plan in place before the season
begins and NHC will continue to provide the best possible forecast.”
Eastern Pacific tropical storms most
often track westward over open waters, sometimes
reaching Hawaii and beyond. However, some
occasionally head toward the northeast, and may
bring rainfall to the arid southwestern United
States during the summer months. Also, during any
given season, one or two tropical storms can
affect western Mexico or Central America.
Residents, businesses, and government agencies of
coastal and near-coastal regions should always
prepare prior to each and every hurricane season
regardless of the seasonal hurricane outlook.
The eastern Pacific hurricane season runs
from May 15 through November 30, with peak
activity from July through September.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce
Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic
security and national safety through the
prediction and research of weather and
climate-related events and information service
delivery for transportation, and by providing
environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal
and marine resources. Through the emerging Global
Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA
is working with its federal partners, more than
70 countries and the European Commission to
develop a global monitoring network that is as
integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
On the Web:
NOAA Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season Outlook:
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center: http://www.hurricanes.gov/
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