Expect a near normal hurricane season, but…
MECHANICSVILLE, Va. — On May 21, NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) told us to expect a near normal Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA forecasters said there is a 70 percent chance of having nine to 14 named storms, with four to seven hurricanes, and one to three major hurricanes (hurricanes ranked in categories 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale).
The forecasters also said high variability in global weather patterns lead to greater than normal uncertainty about this year’s assessment. As if to underscore that point, the first tropical depression of the year formed off Cape Hatteras, N.C., on Thursday — four days before the official beginning of hurricane season on June 1. It is also the first tropical weather system to pass through the neighborhood of the Mid-Atlantic this season.
TD ONE will have relatively little effect on the region, other than some rain as well as the opportunity to make this reporter seasick a few hours from now (0042 hours EST), but it is a reminder that everyone who lives within reach of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts need to take the hurricane threat seriously.
— David M. Lawrence
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