Good news: NOAA predicts less active Atlantic hurricane season

August 9, 2018

The low-level circulation around Chris can be seen reasonably well just after noon today, centered around 160 miles south of Cape Hatteras, with 45 mph maximum sustained winds. The storm is near-stationary over warm water, with a weak high pressure area above it assisting with upper-level outflow. The setup appears favorable for some strengthening, and it wouldn't be a surprise for it to become a hurricane by later tomorrow or early Tuesday. So far, it appears that when it begins to move again, it will likely be on a path that either parallels our coast or takes it farther out to sea - we'll continue to monitor for any changes. @WRALweather

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has some good news about the Atlantic hurricane season.

Gerry Bell, Ph.D, NOAA’s lead hurricane season forecaster, delivered an outlook on Thursday predicting the frequency and severity of storms that may occur in the Atlantic between May and November.

According to NOAA, updated studies show a less active season than forecasters previously reported in May.

In May, NOAA predicted a normal or above-normal hurricane season, but this month’s updated forecast predicts a normal to below-normal hurricane season.

According to NOAA, there is a 90 percent chance of a below or normal hurricane season, meaning that storms, both mild and severe, are less likely.

The forecast for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June through November, predicts that there will be 9 to 13 named storms. Of those, 4 to 7 are predicted to become hurricanes, and 0 to 2 are predicted to become major hurricanes, which are classified as Category 3, 4 or 5.

According to NOAA, those numbers are much lower than the numbers released in May, which predicted 1 to 4 major hurricanes.

In the outlook, forecasters issued a reminder that the predictions are just a general guide. Everyone should know their risk, plan ahead and be prepared for hurricanes.

The predicted less active hurricane season is a result of a cooler sea surface and drier air, which suppress hurricane activity, forecasters said.

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