NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) released their outlook on the upcoming 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
As to no suprise, they have forecasted a very active year, just like all the other different forecast sectors that predict the number of storms for a given year.
Here are the forecasts from NOAA and Dr. Gray and his research team at Colorado St. University.
Notice that in a normal year, we typically see 11 named storms, 6 huricanes, and 2 of which are major (Category 3 or higher).
Both NOAA and Dr. Gray have forecasted an above normal season as a result of a weakening El Nino and warmer than normal sea surface temperatures.
The weakening El Nino is the biggest factor of all because it allows the upper level winds to relax. Last year in 2009, El Nino was fairly strong, which limited tropical development. With a reversing trend, this means more storms, some of which could be stronger as well.
The bottom line: What does it mean for us?
Answer: Not a whole lot other than it gives us something to talk about and speculate on.
We have had years where a below normal season was forecast, but yet ended up dealing with a significant tropical storm or hurricane. We have also had other years, similar to this one, in which an active year was forecast, yet none of them had an effect on the Texas coast.
The whole point is that regardless of the outlook, we must be prepared for anything that might come our way. After all, it only takes "1" storm to leave its mark and impact on a community.
Of course, to stay up-to-date all summer long on the tropics, visit our Hurricane Center often. We have all the tools to help you stay ahead of the storm.