Updated: Hurricane Outlook NOAA 2013
Hurricane season began June 1st and Dr. Gray of Colorado State University released his predictions back in early April. He predicted eighteen named storms, eleven is average, nine hurricanes, six is average, and four major hurricanes, two to three is average. A major hurricane is defined as a category three or higher with winds 111 mph or higher. Dr. Gray, in part, based his prediction on El Nino not returning this summer or fall. El Nino is the warming of the equatorial Pacific off the coast of the South America. When we have strong or moderate El Nino during the summer the jet stream is farther south than usual inhibiting the development of tropical systems.
NOAA's outlook was in late May and at the time they too expected the La Nina to continue so NOAA is predicting an active season. Sea surface temperatures are colder than usual off the equatorial coast of South America during La Nina patterns. That keeps the jet stream farther north creating more favorable conditions for tropical development.
NOAA's initial prediction was thirteen to twenty named storms, with seven to eleven reaching hurricane status, and three to six of those peaking at 'major' status. The two hurricane prognostications are very similar. NOAA's forecast is just a bit more robust in the total number of named storms but then the two forecasts are nearly identical.
So far we have only had four tropical storms: Andrea, Barry, Chantal & Dorian. Now NOAA is predicting 13 to 19 named storms with 6 to 9 becoming hurricanes (Winds 74 mph or higher) and of those 3 to 5 becoming major hurricanes (winds 111 mph or higher). We are in peak hurricane season now. Twenty nine percent of all hurricane form in August with thirty six percent forming on average in September. It all comes down to landfall. We shall see. You can download our Hurricane Tracking software for free. It has historical info and much more. It's free.