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Hurricane Season Starts Wednesday, June 1

By JON WILSON, Consulting Editor, TB Reporter

Forecasters predict a “near normal” season with a 70 percent likelihood of 10-16 named storms.

Hurricane Alex threw a January surprise and Tropical Storm Bonnie edged into South Carolina last week, even though official hurricane season doesn’t start until Wednesday, June 1.

Despite the early-year activity, forecasters said Friday that 2016 will bring a typical storm season, which means 10-16 named storms, which bring winds of 39 mph or higher. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations Climate Prediction Center also said that four to eight storms could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to four major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher. The NOAA agency included Alex in its prediction figures, but not Bonnie.)

Last year produced what was considered a slightly below average season:11 named storms, 4 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.

Meanwhile, Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, gives Florida a 51 percent chance of experiences a hurricane hit this years, and a 21 percent chance of absorbing a major hurricane.

The NOAA forecast comes with caveats.

“This is a more challenging hurricane season outlook than most because it’s difficult to determine whether there will be reinforcing or competing climate influences on tropical storm development,” said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with the Climate Prediction Center. “However, a near-normal prediction for this season suggests we could see more hurricane activity than we’ve seen in the last three years, which were below normal.”

The climate influences he refers to include a dissipating eastern Pacific El Nino, which suggests increased chances for Atlantic activity. In addition, a climate signal known as La Nina will be present during peak hurricane months, August through October. The season runs through Nov. 30.

As always, weather experts warn that whatever a given year’s chances of hurricane strikes, it only takes one storm to change lives. The Tampa Bay area is considered a very vulnerable region, particularly subject to damage from a storm moving across from the southwest to the northeast.


Weather | Hurricanes | Hurricane Season | 2016 Hurricane Predictions | TB Reporter

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Hurricane Season Starts Wednesday, June 1
Article Name
Hurricane Season Starts Wednesday, June 1
Forecasters predict a "near normal" season with a 70 percent likelihood of 10-16 named storms.
Publisher Name
Tampa Bay Reporter

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