Forecasters with the Department of Atmospheric Science Colorado State University anticipate that the 2019 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have slightly below normal activity.
Their prediction is 13 named storms, including five hurricanes. Among those, if the forecasters prove right, would be two major hurricanes.
They say that the current weak El Niño event appears likely to persist and perhaps even strengthen this summer and fall. Forecasters say sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic are slightly below normal, and the far North Atlantic is anomalously cool.
As well, the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation index is below its long-term average, forecasters are saying.
"We anticipate a slightly below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean," forecasters summarized in a new report. "As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted."
Here is the forecast:
ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2019
Forecast Parameter and 1981-2010 Average (in parentheses)
Named Storms (NS) (12.1) 13
Named Storm Days (NSD) (59.4) 50
Hurricanes (H) (6.4) 5
Hurricane Days (HD) (24.2) 16
Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.7) 2
Major Hurricane Days (MHD) (6.2) 4
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (106) 80
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) (116%) 90
PROBABILITIES FOR AT LEAST ONE MAJOR (CATEGORY 3-4-5) HURRICANE LANDFALL ON EACH OF THE FOLLOWING COASTAL AREAS:
1) Entire continental U.S. coastline - 48% (average for last century is 52%)
2) U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida - 28% (average for last century is 31%)
3) Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville - 28% (average for last century is 30%)
PROBABILITY FOR AT LEAST ONE MAJOR (CATEGORY 3-4-5) HURRICANE TRACKING INTO THE CARIBBEAN (10-20°N, 88-60°W)
1) 39% (average for last century is 42%)