After one of the quietest hurricane seasons nearly twenty years last year, forecasters say this year could be less active than average too.
That being said we must remember that these predictions are just that predictions and it only takes one big storm to turn a quiet season into a devastating season.
The best use of these predictions for the general public is to encourage people to start planning for hurricane season.
The long-term average for the Atlantic basin for hurricane season is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater. Many people believe this year's season will be less active than average and it could be due to El Nino returning in the Pacific.
The Weather Channel issued an outlook on March 24th 2014 and this report called for calls for 11 named storms, including five hurricanes, two of which are predicted to attain major hurricane status for the 2014 season.
A similar outlook was issued today from Colorado State University and was authored by Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach and Dr. William M. Gray. William Gray has been issuing hurricane season forecasts since the mid 1980's and has had much success and his team's forecasts are well respected.
The report from Colorado State sums up like this:
CSU Average Forecast CSU
Named Storms 12 9
Hurricanes 6.5 3
Major Hurricanes 2 1
The expected formation of a El-Nino event could be some of the reason the outlook for the 2014 hurricane season is low. In 1997, during a very strong El NiÃo, only seven named storms formed, and only three were hurricanes.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will issue its hurricane forecast in May. Dr. Klotzbach and Dr. Gray will update their outlook generally in early June.
The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season will be Arthur.