Friday, June 1 2012, 11:46 PM EDT
NOAA: Expect less activity this hurricane season
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- The last time we had two storms before a hurricane season started was in 1908, and the rest of the year was actually near normal. The final totals in 1908 were 10 named storms and only 5 hurricanes. So early season storms don't mean above normal seasons.
Dr. Bill Gray and NOAA and other forecasters see this year as average, to slightly below normal, with 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes. and only 2 of those major storms. This is below the average of 11 storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. Their forecast calls for a 24-percent chance of a major storm making landfall somewhere along the east coast of the U.S. That's below the average of 31-percent.
Why will this season be less active? The warmer than normal ocean water in the eastern pacific known as El Nino, is forecast to reform. Those warmer than normal waters in the pacific cause wind shear to blow over the Atlantic which helps to keep storms from developing.
That wind shear, if strong enough, cuts off the upward flow of air through a storm. This can prevent or reduce hurricane development. Despite the quieter season ahead, experts have an important message for all of us.
Dan Brown/National Hurricane Center: I would stress to people not to pay too much attention to the seasonal outlook....Know that the hurricane season is right around the corner..if you're the one to get hit.
Remember, 1992 was a quiet year too with below normal activity. Only 4 hurricanes that year. But one was a category 5, Hurricane Andrew that hit Miami.