The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA)’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year. The outlook forecasts a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 30 percent chance of a below-normal season. Season outlooks are based on extensive monitoring, analysis, research activities, a suite of statistical prediction tools and dynamical models.
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 (winds of 74 mph or higher), including two to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2019 outlook in August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.
The 2019 hurricane season marks the first time NOAA’s fleet of satellites includes three operational next-generation satellites. Data from these satellites feeds the hurricane forecast models used by forecasters to help users make critical decisions days in advance. This season, Hurricane Hunter aircraft will also collect higher-resolution data from upgraded onboard radar systems. This data will be transmitted in near-real time to hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and forecasters at National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices.