Above normal season still expected

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center today released its update to the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, maintaining its expectations for an above-normal season.

NOAA scientists are predicting an 85 % chance of an above-normal season, with the likelihood of 13 to 16 named storms, with seven to nine becoming hurricanes, of which three to five could become major hurricanes.

In May, NOAA predicted a range of 13-17 named storms, with seven to 10 becoming hurricanes, and three to five becoming major hurricanes.

Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center based in Camp Springs, Md.,said: “Most of the atmospheric and oceanic conditions have developed as expected, and are consistent with those predicted in May. The biggest wild card in the May outlook was whether or not La Niña would form, and if so, how strong it would be."

He added: "So far this season, there have been three Atlantic named storms (Andrea, Barry and Chantal), which is slightly above average. On average, one to two storms develop in June and July. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30."