NOAA Releases 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

Last week NOAA released their outlook for the 2019 hurricane season. They are predicting a near-normal season with 9-15 named storms (winds greater than 39 mph) and of those 9-15 named storms, 4-8 of them could become hurricanes (winds greater than 74 mph.) Of those 4-8 hurricanes, 2-4 could become major hurricanes (meaning a category 3 storm or higher with winds greater than 111 mph).

Two of the many factors NOAA considers when making this outlook are the El Nino pattern and sea surface temperatures. Sea surface temperatures are expected to be warmer than average, which would normally favor storm development. However, El Nino is countering that because of shifting wind patterns and is expected to create more wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Basin. Wind shear hinders hurricanes when they are trying to develop. Also, El Nino warms waters of the Central and East Central Pacific, encouraging storm development there but hindering development in the Atlantic.

Last week we also had our first named storm of the season, Andrea, which did not impact the United States. NOAA says this outlook is for overall season activity and is not a landfall forecast!

Courtesy of NOAA