Checking the Predictions for the 2014 Hurricane Season

Back in May, the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (along with three other prediction centers) delivered a forecast for a “below normal” season. All told, NOAA expected 8-13 named tropical storms, 3-6 hurricanes, and 1-2 of which could be category 3 or above. The reasoning for so few storms was because of cold water in the Atlantic as well as an elevated chance for an El Niño to emerge in late summer or autumn. READ MORE

Understanding the Predictions for the 2014 Hurricane Season

The dire hurricane predictions for an active 2013 hurricane season overshot the actual number of storms that occurred: thirteen named storms and only two hurricanes. In spite of warm waters off the west coast of Africa that make a nursery for powerful cyclones, most tropical systems dissipated before organizing into storms. This was due to unexpectedly high wind shear, as too much warm, dry air rushing off the Sahara created wind shears between 30 and 50 kts that tore apart the systems. This year, the emergence of an El Niño in the late summer/early fall will combine with both wind shear and cold water to keep the number of hurricanes “below normal.” Four major hurricanes prediction centers – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Colorado State University (CSU), Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) of University College London, and WSI – all predict a quiet hurricane season. Cold Water: Although the Polar Vortex would have you believe otherwise, the northern hemisphere is still experiencing a warm or “positive phase” from the North Atlantic Oscillaton (NAO). This produces stronger trade winds blowing off the Sahara that appear to be mixing and upwelling colder water from below to the surface. Some make the case that a weakening of the Atlantic Ocean Thermohaline Circulation (THC) led to additional cooling of Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) off west Africa in 2013. Presently, SST are below normal in the eastern tropical Atlantic, and this is expected to continue through to October. Without the heat energy stored in the top millimeter of ocean water, storms have a harder time forming. READ MORE

Getting Ready for the 2014 Hurricane Season with Direct Energy

Though the official start of the 2014 Hurricane Season isn’t until next week, it’s never too early to get prepared in case something happens. That’s why the National Weather Service holds “National Hurricane Preparedness Week” each year during the week of May 25th – 31st. It’s the time of year to educate people about the possible effects a storm could have on you, your family, your home, and your area. READ MORE