4.10.14 Hurricane Outlook Released

Published 04/10 2014 08:37PM

Updated 04/10 2014 08:45PM

Satellite image of a hurricane named
Satellite image of a hurricane named "Fran." Hurricane Fran was a large, powerful, destructive hurricane that made landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina on September 5, 1996. Fran was the sixth named storm the 1996 hurricane season. It was so destructive that the name "Fran" was retired from use./Satellite image by NASA
Acclaimed hurricane researchers Dr. Phillip Klotzbach and Dr. William Gray released their 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season outlook on Thursday.

The pair from Colorado State University expects a below average hurricane season in the Atlantic. They expect 9 named storms this season, which runs from June through November, with 3 becoming hurricanes. Of those hurricanes they expect 1 to be major. A typical hurricane season sees 12 named storms, with 6 of those becoming hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, two typically become major (category 3 or higher).

The team cites a strengthening El Nino as part of the reason for the quiet season. During El Nino, which features a warming of Pacific equatorial waters, wind shear tends to increase in the Atlantic. That changing of wind speed and direction with height tends to rip storms apart. They also say the water temperature in the Atlantic is cooling right now, and hurricanes thrive on toasty sea surface temperatures above 80 degrees.

It is extremely important to remember that long range forecasts are highly uncertain. Last year hurricane experts forecasted an above average season. It turned out to be close to average with few landfalls.

Coastal residents should prepare for this season as they would for an above average season. All it takes is for one massive storm to hit land to cause serious problems.

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