The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season is likely to be another active one, but conditions have Weather Services International trimming its forecast, just a bit, to 16 named storms, including nine hurricanes, four of them major (Category 3 or higher), from the previous forecast of 19 named storms, including nine hurricanes, five of them major (see Daily GPI, April 9).

“The main drivers of tropical activity this year are not particularly remarkable and suggest a rather typical season of the current active era,” said WSI Chief Meteorologist Todd Crawford. “North Atlantic temperatures are warm compared to long-term normals but are typical of those observed over the active period of the last 20 years.

“There are no indications that a particularly strong El Nino or La Nina event (which would modify the background wind shear patterns towards fewer or greater number of storms, respectively) will be present either. Our statistical and dynamical models do suggest a slightly quieter season than they did last month, however, as ocean temperatures have cooled slightly and the chances for El Nino development, though still small, have increased a bit.”

The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season, which officially began on June 1, has so far produced two named storms. Tropical Storm Andrea formed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) on June 5 and quickly crossed Florida into the Atlantic Ocean, causing little damage as it hurried up the East Coast. Tropical Storm Barry formed almost two weeks later in the southern GOM and made landfall near Veracruz, Mexico.

The consensus forecast has been for above-average tropical storm activity this year. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expect 13-20 named storms to form during “an active or extremely active” Atlantic hurricane season this year, including seven to eleven hurricanes, three to six of them major (see Daily GPI, May 24). Those forecast numbers would make the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season more active than the seasonal average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, NOAA said.

Forecasters at Colorado State University expect the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will have more activity than the median 1981-2010 season, with an estimated 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes, four of them major (see Daily GPI, April 11).

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season produced 19 named storms, including 10 hurricanes, one of them major, continuing a decades-long high-activity era in the Atlantic Basin (see Daily GPI, Nov. 30, 2012). It was the second consecutive year that the mid-Atlantic and Northeast suffered devastating impacts from a named storm (see Daily GPI, Nov. 14, 2012), but it was the seventh consecutive year that no major hurricanes hit the United States. Hurricane Isaac was the only storm to cause significant disruption to energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico in 2012 (see Daily GPI, Sept. 6, 2012).

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