Hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and runs through November 30th. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this time period is when 97% of all Atlantic tropical cyclones occur. Activity tends to increase beginning in mid-August and typically peaks on or around September 10. Occasionally a hurricane will form in May and sometimes even as late as December.
Last year’s Atlantic hurricane season had the fewest numbers of hurricanes since 1982. There were fourteen tropical and subtropical storms that formed in the Atlantic and only two became hurricanes, but neither became major hurricanes. While the number of tropical and subtropical storms was above the average of 12, the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes was way below their averages of six and three, respectively. (Major hurricanes are categories 3 and above.) NOAA also goes on to say that the 2013 hurricane season “was only the third below-normal season in the last 19 years, since 1995, when the current high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes began.”
So what’s in store this season?
The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting four possible tropical storms affecting regions this season. One is an early season storm by the end of June along the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Coasts, a second during the third week of July near or along the Atlantic Seaboard, a third in mid-September in New England, and a late season tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico and possibly the East Coast during the third week of October.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officially released their hurricane season forecast last week, and they are predicting a near-normal or below-normal Atlantic hurricane season. This is mostly due to the El Niño that they believe is forming on the Pacific Coast.
Here are the official 2014 Hurricane Names: