2014 hurricane forecast: below normal hurricane activity likely - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

2014 hurricane forecast: below normal hurricane activity likely in the Atlantic

Most seasonal hurricane forecast that have come out so far on the surface possess good news for folks living in the Atlantic hurricane basin.  However a slower hurricane season doesn't mean it is time to let your guard down.

2013 defied most predictions and turned out to be a below normal hurricane season in the tropical Atlantic, especially in terms of the number of hurricanes.  Right now preliminary indications are that 2014 will also feature below normal tropical activity in the Atlantic.     However weather and emergency management experts warn "Don't let your guard down!".   It only takes one hit from a storm to make it a bad hurricane season in southeast North Carolina. 

Drs. Phil Klotzbach and William Gray of Colorado State University release the most specific forecast for tropical activity in the tropical Atlantic.  Their April 2014 forecast predicts well below normal tropical activity in terms of: named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes, classified as category three or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale.  They are forecasting nine named storms, three hurricanes, and one major hurricane.  NOAA's forecast calls for below average to average tropical activity in the Atlantic. 

The two big reasons for their forecast are below normal water temperatures across much of the tropical Atlantic and the development of a weather phenomena called "El Nino".  "El Nino" is simply defined as warmer than normal water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.  This phenomena usually alters weather patterns over the entire planet typical causing flooding in western South America and drought in Australia.  According to many researchers, "El Nino" typically causes increased wind shear over much of the Atlantic basin.  This is a negative factor for hurricane development. 

1992 was also a below normal hurricane season like 2014 is forecast to be.  Yet hurricane Andrew, one of only three category five hurricanes to strike the U.S. in the last century hit south Florida in August of that year.  The lesson of Andrew is it only takes one hit from a hurricane to make it a bad hurricane season in your location. Always be prepared! 

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