The Chickahominy Report

News about Earth, Atmosphere, Water, and Life

Expect a near normal hurricane season, but…

This enhanced infrared image of the Eastern U.S. shows Tropical Depression One in the Atlantic, at about the same latitude as New Jersey. (NOAA)

This enhanced infrared image of the East­ern U.S. shows Trop­i­cal Depres­sion One in the Atlantic, at about the same lat­i­tude as New Jer­sey. (NOAA)

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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