Atlantic Hurricane Season Underway
June 2, 2014
By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill
The 2014 Hurricane Season began Sunday but it doesn`t appear it will be an active year. The Atlantic Basin includes the tropical north Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
An average hurricane season produces 12 tropical storms with winds of at least 39 mph, six hurricanes with winds in excess of 74 mph and three major hurricanes with winds exceeding 111 mph.
In a forecast released Wednesday, May 21, a team of WeatherBug tropical forecasters predicted a slightly below-average season. The main factor influencing the forecast was an onset to a phenomenon known as El Nino. It tends to offset the multi-decadal high hurricane cycle, which has been in place since the mid-1990s.
Last year`s Atlantic Hurricane season came out on par with an average number of named storms but the number of hurricanes was well-below average. Thirteen named storms formed, with one subtropical storm and one tropical depression. Of these storms, only two became hurricanes and it was the first season since 1968 without a hurricane reaching at least Category 2 status with maximum sustained winds of at least 96 mph.
Tropical Storm Andrea claimed four lives after making landfall in Florida and sliding up the East Coast in early June. Chantal was a rare early-July tropical storm that formed in the tropical Atlantic and swiftly bolted through the central Antilles. Tropical Storm Fernand wreaked havoc just north of Veracruz, Mexico, producing flooding and landslides that claimed 14 lives in late-August. Just a few weeks later in mid-September, Hurricane Ingrid slammed into the Mexico coast a bit farther north than Fernand, producing up to 20 inches of rain in Tuxpa and claimed 32 lives.
Although the Atlantic Hurricane Season ends on November 30, tropical-related storms can still form well into December. Last year was no exception with an unnamed subtropical storm that developed in the first week of December. The short-lived low developed south of the Azores late on December 4 and dissipated two days later.
Meanwhile, digging back through the records a little deeper, the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season produced the third-most named storms on record. In that year, 19 named storms, 10 hurricanes and two major hurricanes formed. Noteworthy storms were hurricanes Isaac and Sandy.
Now is the time for all Americans living near and along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast to begin preparing for the 2014 hurricane season. Be sure to create and update a hurricane emergency plan and make sure the hurricane emergency kit is stocked with fresh provisions.
for more information about preparations you can do today.
Be sure to check back with WeatherBug throughout the 2014 Hurricane Season for the latest on any tropical developments. Get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter at WeatherBug
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