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On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center updated its hurricane outlook for the rest of the season (which goes through November) and determined that because the summer’s weak El Niño has faded, the season will be more active than previously forecast.The Associated Press reported that as the “peak” of hurricane season begins they are now expecting 10 to 17 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes and two to four major ones, up from their May forecast of one or two fewer named storms and hurricanes. Yikes!
Why This Matters: The “small” change of one or two “more” major storms could mean a huge difference in lives lost (Hurricane Maria) or financial losses (Hurricane Michael). The good news is that the forecast precision is improving — with more time to prepare and more accurate prediction of where a storm will make landfall. The bad news is that each of these storms has the potential to be debilitating — particularly if one were to hit a major metropolitan area.
The Climate Prediction Center had said it expected 12 named storms and three major hurricanes based on the continued presence of an El Niño, which is the warm Pacific Ocean water pattern that tends to suppress hurricane activity — they expected the El Niño to persist into October.
Specifically, the Prediction Center “raised the likelihood of an above-normal season in the Atlantic to 45 percent, up from 30 percent in the May forecast” and “the chances of a below-normal season have dropped to just 20 percent,” The Times reported.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Climate change is raising temperatures, but it’s not being felt equally. In the U.S., people of color and low-income communities are exposed to higher temperatures and more smog than white residents. Two new studies show this correlation: A survey of temperatures across 175 of the largest U.S. cities found […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer This year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30, is about to bring a higher-than-average storm formation, just like last year, according to the NOAA. The agency predicted “above normal” hurricane activity, with a 70% probability of 13 to 20 named storms. Six to […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Extreme weather and permanent droughts are sweeping across the Western U.S., and with them comes an increasing demand for A/C and power. But cooling buildings through increasingly severe heatwaves takes a significant toll on power grids, and a new study has found that a significant heatwave blackout in three major American cities […]
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