The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially kicked off this month with a slightly below-normal season expected. Remember, it only takes one storm to cause damage, so now is the time to prepare for the season ahead.
What does the 2015 season hold in store?
The WeatherBug Meteorologists are forecasting seven to 10 named storms to form in the Atlantic Hurricane basin this year. Three to five of these storms will become hurricanes, and one to two major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher are possible. The long-term annual average since 1981 is 12 storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
The season kicked off prematurely. Tropical Storm Ana formed just off the U.S. southeast coast on May 7, making landfall near Myrtle Beach, S.C. on May 10.Driving the forecast is the developing El Niño pattern.
El Niño, an above-normal ocean water temperature pattern stretching along the Pacific equator waters west of South America, occurs every five to eight years and affects global weather patterns.
The Atlantic Hurricane Basin consists of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 every year. The historical height of the Atlantic hurricane season runs from mid-August to early October; however, tropical systems can form at any time during the season.
Now is the time for all Americans living near and along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast to begin preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. Be sure to create and update a hurricane emergency plan and make sure the hurricane emergency kit is stocked with fresh provisions. Click here for more information about preparations you can do today.