NOAA releases 2019 hurricane season predictions
With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, preparedness is critically important, just as it is every year. Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector and the public because it only takes one event to devastate a community. The International Code Council offers a variety of cutting-edge tools and resources, including Hurricane Safety & Recovery that consists of products and resources from the Code Council and its partners in safety, to help secure communities against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific. Throughout hurricane season, the Code Council is dedicated to helping communities stay safe in their homes, workplaces and neighborhoods.
This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely. This outlook forecasts a 40-percent chance of a near-normal season, a 30-percent chance of an above-normal season and a 30-percent chance of a below-normal season. For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of nine to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which four to eight could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including two to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).
In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. A 70-percent chance of an above-normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions. The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70-percent probability of 15 to 22 named storms, of which eight to 13 are expected to become hurricanes, including four to eight major hurricanes. The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70-percent probability of five to eight tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, named tropical storms and hurricanes. The 2019 outlook also indicates a 20-percent chance of a near-normal season and only a 10-percent chance of a below-normal season.
The hurricane season officially extends from June 1 to November 30. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. The NOAA forecast is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center will update the 2019 Atlantic seasonal outlook in August just prior to the historical peak of the season.