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Don't write off the Atlantic hurricane season yet, still on track to be above normal

Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013, from NOAA's GOES East satellite. (NOAA)

Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013, from NOAA's GOES East satellite. (NOAA)

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    Digital writers

    Thursday, August 8, 2013, 11:57 AM -

    It seems as though there's been a lack of tropical activity in the Atlantic basin this year, but the hurricane season is on track to be above normal, NOAA says. 

    NOAA issued its updated outlook on Thursday and says there's a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season with the possibility of becoming very active.

    “Our confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for storm development have materialized,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “Also, two of the four named storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season.” 

    NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook (which includes the activity to date of tropical storms (Andrea, Barry, Chantal, and Dorian) projects a 70 percent chance for each of the following ranges:

    • 13 to 19 named storms (top winds of 60 km/h or higher), 
    • including 6 to 9 hurricanes (top winds of 120 km/h or higher), of which
    • 3 to 5 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 178 km/h)

    "The conditions in place now are similar to those that have produced many active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995, and include above-average Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a stronger rainy season in West Africa, which produces wind patterns that help turn storm systems there into tropical storms and hurricanes," NOAA says in their update

    As a result, people are reminded to stay prepared for the entire hurricane season, which runs June 1-November 30. 

    Having an emergency family plan in place as well as a stocked emergency kit are crucial things to keep in mind. 

    The original pre-season outlook that was issued in May called for 13-20 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes.

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