An Active Hurricane Season Now Expected
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is now expected to be above normal.
NOAA’s 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook was updated in early August and now indicates an above-average season is most likely. The season is expected to produce “10 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).” This includes the two named storms so far this year, Subtropical Storm Andrea in May and Hurricane Barry in July. The increase is because El Niño, which typically suppresses hurricane activity, has ended and other favorable conditions are already in place. The season runs from June 1 to November 30 but peaks from mid-August to late October when ocean temperatures are the warmest and atmospheric conditions are the most conducive to storm development. Our August webinar will feature a discussion on this updated hurricane outlook. You can register for that webinar here - August hurricane webinar registration.
The updated 2019 Atlantic hurricane season forecast compared to the original outlook and an average season.
With climate change, the rainfall from and intensity of hurricanes is expected to increase. This is related to warmer ocean temperatures. In addition, as sea level rises there’s an increased threat of storm surge flooding. Greenhouse gas emissions could also have other impacts on hurricane activity. For instance, our July webinar featured research on how a natural shear barrier along the U.S. East Coast that reduces hurricane risk could erode in the future. You can watch the recording and look at the presentation here - July webinar recording.
As for this season, visit the National Hurricane Center’s website, https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/, and your local National Weather Service website, https://www.weather.gov/, for outlooks, forecasts, and information on active tropical systems.