NOAA predicts up to 6 hurricanes in 2014 season

By Steve Patrick, Managing editor of digital content, spatrick@news4jax.com
Published On: May 22 2014 02:28:10 PM EDT
2014 NOAA hurricane forecast

Federal weather forecasters on Thursday predicted a slower than usual Atlantic hurricane season this year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday it predicted eight to 13 named storms, three to six hurricanes with one to two of the storms being major in the 2014 hurricane season, which starts June 1 and ends on November 30.

The outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.

The seasonal averages are typically 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, based on the average from 1981 to 2010, according to NOAA.

NOAA said the driver of this year's outlook is the development of El Niño over the summer, which will suppress the number and intensity of tropical cyclones.

Forecasters got it wrong last year when they predicted an unusually busy hurricane season. There were just 13 named storms and two Category One hurricanes, Umberto and Ingrid. There were no major hurricanes.

Colorado State University researchers have forecast nine named storms in 2014, with just three expected to become hurricanes and one major storm with winds over 110 mph.
    
Officials plan to roll out high-resolution maps that will show people where to expect storm surge. The maps were promised last year and are being implemented for the 2014 season.

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