The first day of June is the start of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season and leading forecasters are predicting that this year’s season will above-average with eighteen tropical storms of which nine will become full-fledged hurricanes. This prediction follows on the heels of a not-so-accurate prediction for last year as twice as many storms formed in 2012 than were predicted.
The average Atlantic hurricane season has twelve tropical storms of which seven are hurricanes. A tropical storm is one which has sustained winds of 39 miles per hour. When those winds are sustained at speeds of 74 miles per hour, the tropical storm is then classified as a hurricane. The Atlantic season opens on the first of June and runs through the end of November. Forecasters are agreeing that there is over a 70 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall along the US eastern coastline this year. The first five hurricanes which form this year will be called Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian and Erin.
After the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012, residents along the Atlantic coast are being told to prepare for an another active season. The warm waters in the Atlantic combined with less frequently occurring wind shear could make the formation of storms more frequent. Last year, two storms formed before the seasoned opened on June 1st but forecasters aren’t expecting that to happen in 2013.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA is set to release its season outlook on the 23rd of May. As the season nears, NOAA is busy going over what improvements could be made following Sandy’s heavy damage along the northeastern coast of the United States. The administration did release a report this week which states that emergency officials and coastal residents could have benefited from more clear storm surge forecasts.
Based on what the major forecasters are saying, the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season should be similar to the season last year. In 2012, there were nineteen named storms of which nine became hurricanes. 2012 was the 7th consecutive year that a hurricane did not make landfall in Florida and those living in the Sunshine State and particularly coastal residents are keeping their fingers crossed that the streak continues.