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2016 Hurricane Outlook

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2016 Hurricane Outlook

The 2016 hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until June 1, but we’ve already seen our first named hurricane of the year.  Hurricane Alex  fired up in a month not usually considered for hurricanes– January! This hurricane passed over the Azores — nine volcanic islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 850 miles west of Portugal — on January 15th.

You might expect that if tropical activity started popping up nearly five months before the official start of hurricane season that we might be on the way toward a very active season, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Colorado State University, which issues a seasonal outlook prior to the start of each hurricane season says that 2016 will be  “average.”  They base their forecast on a combination of 29 years of statistical predictors, combined with seasons exhibiting similar features of sea-level pressure and sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans.

In 2016, a  total of 12 named storms, including five hurricanes and two major hurricanes are expected.  A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or stronger on the 1 to 5 Saffir Simpson Hurricane Scale.

This doesn’t mean that those who live along the Atlantic Seaboard should let their guard down regarding hurricane activity. Unfortunately, there is no strong correlation between the number of storms or hurricanes and U.S. landfalls in any given season.

For instance, the 1992 season saw below-normal tropical activity, producing only six named storms and one subtropical storm. However, one of those named storms was Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida as a Category 5 hurricane on August 24th, then two days later impacted Louisiana as a Category 4. So in spite of the fact that fewer than normal tropical cyclones formed that year, 1992 will always be remembered for Andrew.

Now contrast that to the 2010 season, which was very active. There were 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes that formed in the Atlantic Basin. And yet, despite the large number of storms that year, not a single hurricane and only one tropical storm made landfall in the United States!

The U.S. averages between 1 to 2 hurricane landfalls each season, according to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division. However, the number of U.S. landfalls has been much below average in the last decade.

What does the Almanac Predict?

Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting a threat of tropical storms for early July, late August, and late September along the Gulf Coast, and hurricane threats in early August along the Gulf Coast, and mid-August along the Atlantic Coast. For more specific forecasts and dates be sure to check the 2016 Farmers’ Almanac. The traditional peak of the hurricane season is September 10th.

For 2016, the Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane names are:

Alex • Bonnie • Colin • Danielle • Earl • Fiona • Gaston • Hermine • Ian • Julia • Karl • Lisa • Matthew • Nicole • Otto • Paula • Richard • Shary • Tobias • Virginie • Walter



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1 Sue { 08.31.16 at 2:44 pm }

How does Charleston SC / Folly Beach look for October 15 2016 weekend. My daughter is marrying on the beach.

2 Lisa Rodrigues { 07.29.16 at 8:18 pm }

How does the grand Cayman area look like between now 7/29 and 8/15/16?

3 Dee { 05.26.16 at 8:45 pm }

Strange you mention the squirrels. Today I was watching one here is SC. It was rolling around in the dirt having a good old time, actually wore away a good amount of dirt, wasn’t sure if maybe they did that because of the mosquitos or weather.

4 Myra Garrison { 05.25.16 at 7:02 pm }

How many are predicted for the NC & SC coast. Will any make it inland like Hugo in 1989

5 Tracy Williams { 08.30.16 at 10:06 am }

Alachua County here, my yard looks like a moonscape or a tiny mine field. The squirrels are crazy this year.
Since its my first year here I assumed Florida squirrels just acted that way.
Thinking about it I left Galveston county TX, a week before Ike, and the squirrels left just before I did. And the fire ant mounds were knee high or better in places.
I’ll keep a closer eye on it now.

6 jtminahan { 05.25.16 at 3:29 pm }

Haven’t had even a possible Hurricane (or even a Tropical Storm) in Northwest Florida since 2004, the best I can remember. I noticed everything blooming earlier this year and crazy activity by the squirrels, so I think it looks like we’re gonna get some this year!

7 A.E.Williams { 05.25.16 at 12:48 pm }

We have had our share of Hurricanes passing through the Bahamas in recent years. Joaquin, Sandy, Wilma, Jean, Francis,Floyd and Andrew have all left indelible marks of devastation on our Islands. We pray for a quiet Season this year.

8 Jennifer S. Pocius { 05.25.16 at 8:59 am }

I don’t care for hurricanes or TROPICAL STORMS or where they land—JUST DON’T LAND IN TEXAS!!!!! WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH FLOODING RAINS AND TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS WITH FLOODS. Go somewhere else PLEASE!!! By the way, today marks the 1st anniversary of last years Memorial Day FLOODS in TEXAS. GOD must BE really disappointed with TEXAS.

9 Sandi Duncan { 05.25.16 at 9:57 am }

According to our long-range outlook, we see one possible hurricane threat in mid-August for the NJ Coastline. Hopefully it will stay out to sea.

10 Gerrie Menasce { 05.25.16 at 6:50 am }

How many hurricanes are predicted at the N.J. coastline this year?

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