Thursday, May 19, 2011

NOAA issues 2011 hurricane forecast

The scientists at the Climate Prediction Center, in conjunction with the National Hurricane Center and NOAA, issued their official 2011 Hurricane Forecast for the Atlantic Basin today. As the CBS 6 Storm Team expected, this is an above-average forecast for the tropical season, which begins June 1 and continues through November 30.

2011 NOAA Forecast:
  • 12-18 Named Storms (39 mph+ sustained winds)
  • 6-10 of those will become Hurricanes (74 mph+ sustained winds)
  • 3-6 of those hurricanes will become Major Hurricanes of Category 3-5 (111 mph+ winds)
An Average Tropical Season:
  • 11 Named Storms
  • 6 of those become Hurricanes
  • 2 become Major Hurricanes of Category 3-5
You can view the full list of storm names for the Atlantic Basin by clicking here.

Watch this video for more details on the forecast and what impacts the tropical season tends to have for us here in Virginia:

The above-average forecast is primarily as a result of the following factors:
  • We continue to be in a "high activity era" of enhanced tropical activity in the Atlantic Basin
  • Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic where tropical cyclones form are currently two degrees Fahrenheit above-average. This warmer-than-normal water will serve as an excellent fuel source for developing storms.
  • Even though La Nina in the equatorial Pacific is weakening, lower wind shear should linger in the Atlantic into Hurricane Season.
Visit the Red Cross by clicking here to learn how to prepare for a natural disaster like a tropical system. And Stay with CBS6, we'll keep you ahead of the storm.

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