NOAA predicts near-normal or below-normal 2014 Atlantic hurricane season

2014_hurricane_outlookFrom NOAA: El Niño expected to develop and suppress the number and intensity of tropical cyclones

In its 2014 Atlantic hurricane season outlook issued today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a near-normal or below-normal season.

The main driver of this year’s outlook is the anticipated development of El Niño this summer.

El Niño causes stronger wind shear, which reduces the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes. El Niño can also strengthen the trade winds and increase the atmospheric stability across the tropical Atlantic, making it more difficult for cloud systems coming off of Africa to intensify into tropical storms.

The outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.

2014_hurricane_outlook

2014 Atlantic hurricane outlook summary. (Credit: NOAA)

For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 8 to 13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

These numbers are near or below the seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, based on the average from 1981 to 2010. The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

“Thanks to the environmental intelligence from NOAA’s network of earth observations, our scientists and meteorologists can provide life-saving products like our new storm surge threat map and our hurricane forecasts,” said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA administrator. “And even though we expect El Niño to suppress the number of storms this season, it’s important to remember it takes only one land falling storm to cause a disaster.”

Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said the Atlantic – which has seen above-normal seasons in 12 of the last 20 years – has been in an era of high activity for hurricanes since 1995. However, this high-activity pattern is expected to be offset in 2014 by the impacts of El Niño, and by cooler Atlantic Ocean temperatures than we’ve seen in recent years.

“Atmospheric and oceanic conditions across the tropical Pacific are already taking on some El Niño characteristics. Also, we are currently seeing strong trade winds and wind shear over the tropical Atlantic, and NOAA’s climate models predict these conditions will persist, in part because of El Niño,” Bell said. “The expectation of near-average Atlantic Ocean temperatures this season, rather than the above-average temperatures seen since 1995, also suggests fewer Atlantic hurricanes.”

Humberto was the first of only two Atlantic hurricanes in 2013. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA is rolling out new tools at the National Hurricane Center this year. An experimental mapping tool will be used to show communities their storm surge flood threat. The map will be issued for coastal areas when a hurricane or tropical storm watch is first issued, or approximately 48 hours before the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds. The map will show land areas where storm surge could occur and how high above ground the water could reach in those areas.

Early testing on continued improvements to NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model (HWRF) shows a 10 percent improvement in this year’s model compared to last year. Hurricane forecasters use the HWRF along with other models to produce forecasts and issue warnings.  The HWRF model is being adopted by a number of Western Pacific and Indian Ocean rim nations.

NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast; it does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike. Forecasts for individual storms and their impacts will be provided throughout the season by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

“It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall to have disastrous impacts on our communities,” said Joe Nimmich, FEMA associate administrator for Response and Recovery. “Just last month, Pensacola, Florida saw five inches of rain in 45 minutes – without a tropical storm or hurricane. We need you to be ready. Know your risk for hurricanes and severe weather, take action now to be prepared and be an example for others in your office, school or community. Learn more about how to prepare for hurricanes at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.”

Next week, May 25-31, is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help those living in hurricane-prone areas prepare, NOAA offers hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements in both English and Spanish, featuring NOAA hurricane experts and the FEMA Administrator at www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.

NOAA’s outlook for the Eastern Pacific basin is for a near-normal or above-normal hurricane season, and the Central Pacific basin is also expected to have a near-normal or above-normal season. NOAA will issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.

Additional Links:

Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season Outlook discussion: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/hurricane.shtml

El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic discussion: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

National Hurricane Preparedness Week:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/

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Meanwhile, the major hurricane drought continues, with 3,142 days expected when hurricane season starts on June 1st. With this NOAA 2014 forecast, it may get even longer:

hurricane_drought_2014

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38 Responses to NOAA predicts near-normal or below-normal 2014 Atlantic hurricane season

  1. TerryS says:

    Probably going to be a bad one then….

  2. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Oh Dear. This probably means about 25% more, and more severe hurricanes this year.

  3. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Looks like they blatantly copied Bill Gray’s predictions:
    http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2014/apr2014/apr2014.pdf

  4. Latitude says:

    said the Atlantic – which has seen above-normal seasons in 12 of the last 20 years

    oh for God’s sake

  5. ccg says:

    If you live on the gulf coast, you better stock up on bottled water and plywood now!

  6. omnologos says:

    Not a word about the 2013 season? Or was there an invisible el Niño?

  7. Latitude says:

    The outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.
    =====
    What a complete waste of our time and money……….

  8. oeman50 says:

    If we need an El Niño to produce the wind shear that suppresses Atlantic hurricane formation, what happened the last 8 years when we had no El Niño?

  9. Shawn from the River High says:

    The Warmists said there would be “Global Weirdness”.

  10. Latitude, why is that a waste of money?

  11. Marcos says:

    has anyone ever called NOAA on the increase in their prediction range for named storms? until recently, the range was around 3-4 storms and now they have increased the range to 6+ storms. this gives them a much larger window to say that their predictions were correct…

  12. Resourceguy says:

    So this in effect is an El Nino prediction center.

  13. Bruce Cobb says:

    This is in accordance with the GCMs. Of course, so would above -average hurricane activity. Heads they win, tails we lose.

  14. Colin says:

    Has anyone noticed the satellite image they used in the graphic is that of Hurricane Sandy at landfall, the time at which the NHC insisted it was not a hurricane?

  15. philjourdan says:

    They are going to have to redefine normal and near normal. Clearly last year there were a bunch of wisps of wind that got a name and fizzled quickly thereafter. So the number of “named” storms is always going to be high. The number of non-fish storms however probably will not amount to much.

  16. Is this the first time ever that NOAA has not predicted “Extream”?

  17. Tom in Florida says:

    “NOAA is rolling out new tools at the National Hurricane Center this year. An experimental mapping tool will be used to show communities their storm surge flood threat. The map will be issued for coastal areas when a hurricane or tropical storm watch is first issued, or approximately 48 hours before the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds. The map will show land areas where storm surge could occur and how high above ground the water could reach in those areas.”

    Funny how local news in my area has been doing this for years. I put my money on the local news channel forecasters because they are private enterprises that have a monetary stake in being correct and having the best up to the hour forecasting and reporting.
    Local governments also have detailed maps of surge and evacuation areas rated by storm category level.

  18. Frank K. says:

    @TerryS

    +1. Watch out now for a very active season!

    Of course, if that happens, the CAGW fanatics will delightfully scream “global warming is HERE!” as they ca$h in on the misery of others.

  19. Frank K. says:

    @Marcos

    Named storms are meaningless anymore. Look at last year’s roster. Anything that was slightly over 75 mph max wind speed for 30 minutes was given a name, no matter how disorganized it was. Sheesh, the Weather Channel was giving anything with slight cyclonic circulation over land or sea a name!

  20. physicsgeeky says:

    Well, they’ve been predicting extremely active seasons for a while and have been uniformly wrong. If I lived on the coast, I’d move inwards for a while.

  21. Well, yes, Dr. Gray and Dr. Klotzbach said something similar on April 10 ’14:
    “We estimate that 2014 will have only 3 hurricanes (median is 6.5), 9 named storms (median is 12.0), 35 named storm days (median is 60.1), 12 hurricane days (median is 21.3), 1 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (median is 2.0) and 2 major hurricane days (median is 3.9). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 65 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2014 to be approximately 60 percent of their long-term averages.”
    See http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/2014/apr2014/apr2014.pdf

  22. Bruce Richardson says:

    Folks on the East coast should start buying bottled water non-perishable food because NOAA predicts a near-normal or below-normal 2014 Atlantic hurricane season

  23. Dell from Michigan says:

    Given their recent track record of always predicting a highly active hurricane season, and being extremely disappointed, (I mean wrong), I predict one of three things will occur this year.

    1: They finally will admit that Global Warming has stopped, and therefore since global warming has stopped, so will the hurricanes. (3% chance of this happening)

    2. They finally have realized that Global Warming (now a.k.a. Climate Change) doesn’t cause more hurricanes, and they look really stupid since they keep claiming that we will have a bumper Hurricane season due to Global Warming, only to be disappointed. (17% chance of this happening)

    3. We better really watch out, because their predictions are always wrong! (80% chance of happening)

    Note: I admit that my percentages above have absolutely no scientific basis, so they have about the same degree of accuracy as the global warming alarmist consensus crowd.

  24. Barbara Skolaut says:

    NOAA, schmoaa – what does Pat Michaels say?

  25. Joel O'Bryan says:

    Referring to “2010: The International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS). (Knapp, K. R., M. C. Kruk, D. H. Levinson, H. J. Diamond, and C. J. Neumann,Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 91, 363-376, doi:10.1175/2009BAMS2755.1)” *

    In their figures 2 and 7, they show that both number of tropical storms per decade (figure 2) and Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (figure 7), both are decreasing since 1975.

    This is very inconsistent with the hypothesis that increasing CO2 will or has led to more or stronger tropical cyclones world-wide.

    * This IBTraACS data was used and referenced extensively in the recent NCA 2014 alarmist screed from the Obama Administration.

    Conclusion: Using the past 40 years, there currently exists no data that supports the hypothesis that increasing CO2 will or has led to more or stronger tropical cyclones world-wide.

  26. darwin says:

    The Farmers Almanac, which has proven to be much more accurate than any NOAA forecasts predicts possible hurricanes striking the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

  27. alcheson says:

    They are getting smarter. They just made a “cant lose” prediction. If it is indeed a low count season, they can say their models are right. If it comes in way above average, they can say…”It is much worse than even the models predict!”. In either case they can use that to convince the gullible that CAGW is real and we must hand over our wallets and freedoms immediately.

  28. Neil Jordan says:

    Re Dell from Michigan says: May 22, 2014 at 10:40 am
    Your alternative 2 (17%) and alternative 3 (80%) sum to Cook’s 97%. You might be on to something.

  29. MattS says:

    Given the history of NOAA’s seasonal hurricane forecasts, that means that this year will either be a complete dud way below normal or the worst hurricane season in a generation.

  30. In the words of Astro, “Rut -Roh.” How many years have they been projecting a worse than normal season only to have nada?

  31. Dell from Michigan says:

    Neil Jordan says: Re Dell from Michigan says: May 22, 2014 at 10:40 am
    “Your alternative 2 (17%) and alternative 3 (80%) sum to Cook’s 97%. You might be on to something.”

    You got me figured out. Since supposedly only 3% are “Global warming deniers”, that 3% would apply to #1. Therefore the other remaining 2 possibilities must add up to the remaining supposed 97% consensus.

    ;>P

    Pat, would like to buy a vowel.

  32. Chad Wozniak says:

    Barbara Boxer must be apoplectic – no huge increase in storms as she predicted, declining prospects for the lethal carbon tax she pushes.

  33. Steve Keohane says:

    Early testing on continued improvements to NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model (HWRF) shows a 10 percent improvement in this year’s model compared to last year.
    Based on a season that hasn’t begun, interesting.

  34. Charles Nelson says:

    God help us all!

  35. hunter says:

    Based on NOAA’s track record, I am now very concerned about an active season with bad storms hitting land.

  36. hunter says:

    @ alcheson says:
    May 22, 2014 at 11:14 am
    “They are getting smarter. They just made a “cant lose” prediction. If it is indeed a low count season, they can say their models are right. If it comes in way above average, they can say…”It is much worse than even the models predict!”. In either case they can use that to convince the gullible that CAGW is real and we must hand over our wallets and freedoms immediately.”
    +1
    I think it is entirely possible that there is that level of cynicism in the climate catastrophe community.

  37. Tom Trevor says:

    We start with a very small number of possible outcomes realistically there is only a chance of between 0-20 or so hurricanes then we give ourselves a wide range, we predict 3-6 hurricanes in other words we could be off by 100% and still be right. Then we take a wild guess at how likely it is to be more or less than normal and come up with it is near 50/50. We then call then call this wild guess “science” we hope no one notices that throwing dice would be about as good, and we hope no one asks about our track record.

  38. Brian H says:

    Bell said. “The expectation of near-average Atlantic Ocean temperatures this season, rather than the above-average temperatures seen since 1995, also suggests fewer Atlantic hurricanes.”

    Gah. Hurricanes have been down that whole period; the temperatures are not driving the count.

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