Hurricane forecasters with NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are predicting another above-normal hurricane season on the heels of last year’s destructive and historic hurricane season.
“NOAA’s prediction for the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season is for 12 to15 tropical storms, with seven to nine becoming hurricanes, of which three to five could become major hurricanes,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator at a news conference today in Bay St. Louis, Miss. “Forecaster confidence that this will be an active hurricane season is very high.”
NOAA’s Atlantic hurricane outlook reflects an expected continuation of above-average activity that began in 1995. Since that time all but two Atlantic hurricane seasons have been above-normal. Hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends November 30.
“Impacts from hurricanes, tropical storms and their remnants do not stop at the coast,” states retired Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of the NOAA National Weather Service. “As we kick off National Hurricane Preparedness Week and look at another highly active season, preparation plans should consider that these storms carry severe weather, such as tornadoes and flooding, while moving inland.”
Although it’s too soon to predict where and when a storm may hit land, NOAA still cautions the public to be prepared.
“Last year’s hurricane season provided a reminder that planning and preparation for a hurricane do make a difference. Residents in hurricane vulnerable areas who had a plan, and took individual responsibility for acting on those plans, faired far better than those who did not,” said Max Mayfield, director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.
An update to the Atlantic hurricane outlook will be issued in early August just prior to the season’s historical peak from late August through October.
In contrast to the Atlantic, a below-normal hurricane season is expected in the Eastern and Central Pacific. NOAA’s outlook for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, also released today, calls for 11-15 tropical storms, with six to eight becoming hurricanes of which two to four may become major hurricanes. Two or three tropical cyclones are projected for the Central Pacific.
The 2005 Atlantic hurricane outlook is a joint product of scientists at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, Hurricane Research Division and National Hurricane Center. NOAA meteorologists use a suite of sophisticated numerical models and high-tech tools to forecast tropical storms and hurricanes. Scientists rely on information gathered by NOAA and the U.S. Air Force Reserve personnel who fly directly into the storms in hurricane hunter aircraft; NOAA, NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense satellites; NOAA data buoys, weather radars and partners among the international meteorological services.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through research to better understand atmospheric and climate variability and to manage wisely our nation’s coastal and marine resources.