The 2015 hurricane season forecasts are out (see Weather Channel graphic below) and the consensus is that activity in the Atlantic Basin (Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico) is going to be an underachiever.
So, what’s that mean for you if you live along or plan on visiting the Atlantic or Gulf Coast this summer?
Not much, it turns out. The number of hurricanes and tropical storms that blossom in the Atlantic Basin has very little, if any, correlation to the number that actually hit the U. S.
Consider, for example, the 1992 season. Only six named storms (and an unnamed subtropical system) spun up that year. But–and it’s a big but–one of them was Hurricane Andrew, the vicious Category Five that leveled south Florida and later slammed Louisiana.
In contrast, a virtual traffic jam developed in the Atlantic Basin in 2010 with nineteen named tropical cyclones running around . . . not all at once, of course. That tally included four Category Four hurricanes. Despite the storm swarm, only a couple of weak tropical storms nipped into the U. S. that year.
If you average out the predictions for this season from Colorado State University, NOAA, and The Weather Channel, you’d expect about eight named storms, including four hurricanes, but only one Cat Three or greater.
If you’d like to read more about the outlook for this year, The Weather Channel has posted an excellent discussion. The expectation for a lollygagger of a season seems logical to me, given that El Nino conditions are already present, but that doesn’t mean the prediction will necessarily pan out.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for hurricane thrills, may I recommend EYEWALL. It’s the safest journey you can take into the eye of a Cat Five monster.