Tropics Update – Hurricane Season 2013

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Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami expect an active season this year and remind everyone to be vigilant as we enter the peak period of hurricane season. In an interiew with Dennis Feltgen, Meteorologist and Public Affairs Officer, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida on Aug. 22, 2013, Feltgen looks at storm history and the possibilities for this season.

With the 2013 hurricane season half over, is this year’s hurricane season forecast wrong?
“The NOAA seasonal outlook, which is issued by its Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland provides the number of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes expected over the entire Atlantic basic (Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico) over the entire six month hurricane season (June 1 through November 30).

The 2013 Atlantic season has been active with five named storms so far. In an average year, the 5th named storm does not show up until August 31, but did so this year on August 15th with Erin.

The first hurricane of the season shows up, on average, on August 10th. This year has not seen any hurricanes yet, but it is not that unusual. With records going back to 1851, there are 44 other years when the first hurricane materialized on or after August 22nd. And in 25 of those years, it was on or after September 1st. The all-time record latest is October 8, 1905.

In 2013, Chantal, Dorian and Erin dissipated when it ran into dry air and wind shear, and did not impact the U.S. It is a mistake to believe that this is the way the remainder of the season will play out. We have more than half the season to go.”

Can we still expect an active season for the remainder of the season?
“Yes, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, in its updated outlook issued on August 8th is still expecting an active season.”

When is the peak of hurricane season? Are we in it now?
“The peak of the Atlantic basin hurricane season is mid-August through late October. We have just entered it.”

Should Floridians and other states let their guard down?
“In terms of being prepared, the overall seasonal forecast numbers do not matter. It only takes one storm hitting your community to make it a very bad year for you. No one should let their guard down.”

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