Weather News

Aug 14, 2013 9:12 AM by Stephen Bowers

NOAA: Atlantic hurricane season still expected to be above-normal

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a new forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season, and they stay they still expect an active season.

So far, only four tropical storms have developed in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. One of those, Andrea, made landfall on Florida's Big Bend just south of Tallahassee.

NOAA says similar conditions are in place that have produced several active hurricane seasons since 1995. Their forecast for a 70 percent chance for an above-normal season calls for 13 to 19 tropical storms. Of those, 6 to 9 hurricanes are expected, and 3 to 5 hurricanes could be major hurricanes. 

Tropical storms are organized tropical low pressure systems that produce winds of 39-73 mph. Hurricanes produce winds of 74 mph or greater. Major hurricanes have winds over 110 mph, and are category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which ranks hurricanes by intensity.

On average, a hurricane season produces 12 tropical storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

Late August and September are the peak times for hurricanes to form in the Atlantic Ocean. 

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