Matt's World of Weather- Hurricane Season

The official start of hurricane season is just under two weeks away. While our “active” season won’t start until about August, this is a good time to at least set some groundwork regarding the impending threat. Last year we were dealing with a strong La Nina. This resulted in a very warm Atlantic and a very active season. Recent observations have estimated an end to La Nina by June. Thus, most of the seasonal outlooks you come across regarding hurricane development will be above average, but below last year’s totals.

Something to keep in mind:
These hurricane forecasts do not take into account the possible landfall systems. At this point, it is nearly impossible to predict possible landfall hurricanes so far out, but we can get a general idea how many may form. The big take away from all this is that an active season does not mean more landfalls. Last year’s totals were well above average for a hurricane season and there were zero…zero US landfall hurricanes (although we were nearly 80 miles away from a Cat 3 hurricane Earl). Conversely, a quiet season does not mean a hurricane won’t make landfall. 1992 was a very “quiet” tropical season and yet this was the year hurricane Andrew devastated southern Florida.

By this point I’m sure you’re asking “what’s the point of even putting out these silly numbers if we can’t get anything from them?”. Well, good question. Basically, these seasonal outlooks help emergency managers as well as you and I prepare for the months ahead. That’s all. They may not be exact in location, but the numbers keep the threat fresh in our minds and prepare us for the possibility. I’ve gone through a couple hurricane outlooks and put them below.

National Hurricane Center:
Named Storms- 13 to 18
Hurricanes- 6 to 10
Major- 3 to 6

WeatherBug:
Named Storms- 13 to 14
Hurricanes- 7 to 8
Major- 4

Colorado State:
Named Storms- 16
Hurricanes- 9
Major- 5

AccuWeather:
Named Storms- 15
Hurricanes- 8
Major- 3

Average Year:
Named Storms- 10
Hurricanes- 6
Major- 3

2011 Names:
Arlene
Bret
Cindy
Don
Emily
Franklin
Gert
Harvey
Irene
Jose
Katia
Lee
Maria
Nate
Ophelia
Philippe
Rina
Sean
Tammy
Vince
Whitney


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