The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has released the 2015 Hurricane Forecast for both the Atlantic and Pacific regions. As part of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the CPC uses the latest technology and vast data bases to monitor the climate, predict changes and assess the origins of major climate anomalies.
NOAA collaborates with hurricane experts from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) to develop the annual hurricane forecast. The hurricane season for the Atlantic Region which consists of the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, runs from June 1st through November 30th.
2015 Hurricane Prediction
NOAA estimates a 70% probability that there will be 6 to 11 named storms this season. Of these, 3-6 will be hurricanes and 0-2 of those will be major hurricanes.
The prediction is based on large-scale climate factors known to influence seasonal hurricane activity, and climate models that directly predict seasonal hurricane activity. A very large factor in this year’s prediction is El Niño, the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific. According to NOAA, El Niño is now present and is expected to intensify as the season progresses. The current El Niño is already affecting the wind and rainfall patterns across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
It’s important to note that NOAA does not make seasonal tropical storm or hurricane landfall predictions. These are only predictable when an actual storm is active and within days of reaching land. Communities hundreds of miles away from landfall can be impacted by excessively high tides caused by storm surge, inland flooding and tornadoes.
A single hurricane prediction should not impact the amount of preparation you undertake. The same amount of drinkable water, batteries, and other emergency supplies should be gathered and stored whether 1 or 100 storms are expected. A hurricane forecast similar to this year’s was predicted in 1992. That was the same year a Category 5 hurricane (Hurricane Andrew) struck south Florida and became at that time the costliest storm in US history. As they say, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
A number of resources are available to residents in the Atlantic hurricane region. Click here for a complete list of supplies to have on hand for the season. It’s always a good idea to know where your nearest shelter is ahead of the storm. Check out the hurricane preparedness resource at /resources/hurricane-planning/ for more tips and ideas to have a safe 2015 hurricane season.