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Above-Average Hurricane Activity Expected This Season

NOAA's National Hurricane Center predicts 11-17 named tropical storms in the Atlantic this hurricane season.

Hurricane season starts June 1st. In their annual outlook released today, forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict that the Atlantic Ocean will see "above average" hurricane activity this hurricane season, which runs through November 30th.


On average, there are 12 named tropical storms during hurricane season. This year, NOAA forecasters say there could could be 11-17 named storms in the Atlantic.

Forecasters consider several factors when making their predictions -- like ocean temperatures, wind shear, and the presence of weather patterns like El Niño, which suppresses hurricane activity when present.


NOAA administrator Ben Friedman says warm ocean temperatures and a currently weak El Niño presence contributed to the above-average forecast. But, he says, there are limitations to any hurricane forecast.


“It does NOT predict when, where, and how these storms might hit,” says Friedman, “And if they will make landfall.”


So, while forecasts are fairly accurate at predicting the number of named storms, they can’t tell us anything about the intensity of a given storm, or how many of them will make landfall.


Still, Friedman says it doesn’t take much to cause damage.


“The most dangerous part of a storm is not the wind, is not the rain,” he says, “it’s the flooding and the storm surge that occurs afterward. So we need to be prepared for all of that in the upcoming season.”


For tips on how to prepare for hurricane season visitNOLA Ready.


Credit NOAA
Names NOAA plans to assign to tropical storms, including hurricanes, during the 2017 hurricane season. The first, Arlene, formed in April over the eastern Atlantic -- uncharacteristically early.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Coypu Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and local listeners.

Tegan has reported on the coast for WWNO since 2015. In this role she has covered a wide range of issues and subjects related to coastal land loss, coastal restoration, and the culture and economy of Louisiana’s coastal zone, with a focus on solutions and the human dimensions of climate change. Her reporting has been aired nationally on Planet Money, Reveal, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, BBC, CBC and other outlets. She’s a recipient of the Pulitzer Connected Coastlines grant, CUNY Resilience Fellowship, Metcalf Fellowship, and countless national and regional awards.
As Coastal Reporter, Travis Lux covers flood protection, coastal restoration, infrastructure, the energy and seafood industries, and the environment. In this role he's reported on everything from pipeline protests in the Atchafalaya swamp, to how shrimpers cope with low prices. He had a big hand in producing the series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not?, which examined how prepared New Orleans is for a future with more extreme weather. In 2017, Travis co-produced two episodes of TriPod: New Orleans at 300 examining New Orleans' historic efforts at flood protection. One episode, NOLA vs Nature: The Other Biggest Flood in New Orleans History, was recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors and the New Orleans Press Club. His stories often find a wider audience on national programs, too, like NPR's Morning Edition, WBUR's Here and Now, and WHYY's The Pulse.

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