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NOAA gives low odds for above-normal Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Matthew

An above-normal hurricane season is 30% likely, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said Friday in its outlook for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season which begins June 1.

The outlook also calls for a 40% chance of a near-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season, NOAA said in a statement.

Between nine to 15 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher are expected to form during the season, of which four to eight could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including two to four major hurricanes which are defined as category 3, 4 or 5 with winds of 111mph or higher, the statement said.

An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes, NOAA said.

While warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea and an enhanced west African monsoon favor increased hurricane activity, the ongoing El Nino is expected to persist, suppressing the intensity of hurricane season, NOAA said in the statement.

An above-normal season for both the eastern and central Pacific regions is also 70% likely, the statement said.

The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70% chance of 15 to 22 named storms, of which eight to 13 are expected to become hurricanes, including four to eight major hurricanes, NOAA said.

In the central Pacific there is a 70% chance of five to eight tropical cyclones, including tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes, the statement said.

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