The 2014 U.S. Atlantic hurricane season looks to be near normal or below normal, the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last week.
The outlook calls for a 50% chance of a below-normal season, a 40% chance of a near-normal season and just a 10% chance of an above-normal season.
“Based on the current and expected conditions, combined with model forecasts, we estimate a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity during 2014: eight to 13 named storms; three to six hurricanes; one to two major hurricanes; and accumulated cyclone energy range of 40% to 100% of the median,” the center said in its outlook.
Although the outlook said an El Niño weather pattern, in which Pacific waters are warmer than normal and affect weather in a variety of ways, is expected to develop this year, exactly when and how strong it may be are not yet known.
In April, the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University forecast a below-average 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, with nine named storms forecast for the period of June 1 through Nov. 30.
Last week, NOAA also forecast a near-normal or above-normal eastern Pacific hurricane season and a near-normal or above-normal central Pacific Hurricane season, which also run through November.