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Slightly quieter hurricane season predicted

Forecasters are predicting a slightly quieter than usual hurricane season this year, but one or two major storms are still expected.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) yesterday announced its forecast for the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins on June 1.

NOAA forecasts a total of between eight and 13 named storms in the Atlantic, three to six of which are predicted to reach hurricane strength and one or two will reach at least at Category 3.

A typical Atlantic hurricane season features around 12 named storms, six hurricanes with three being at least Category 3, but 12 of the last 20 years have seen above-normal seasons.

The main factor cited by the NOAA for a weaker hurricane season is the expected development of El Niño conditions this summer, which increases wind shear in the Atlantic and reduces both the number and intensity of tropical storms in the region.

NOAA administrator Kathryn Sullivan said: “Even though we expect El Niño to suppress the number of storms this season, it's important to remember it takes only one land falling storm to cause a disaster.”

Lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Gary Bell explained: “Atmospheric and oceanic conditions across the tropical Pacific are already taking on some El Niño characteristics. NOAA's climate models predict these conditions will persist, in part because of El Niño,”

Bermuda Weather Service meteorologist Jeremy Entwistle warned that while the service does not produce it's own predictions for the season, even a slow season could be significant for Bermuda.

“A single hurricane or tropical storm affecting the Island makes for a very busy and dangerous hurricane season, and a very busy Bermuda Weather Service,” he said.

Mr Entwistle also noted that next week the Bermuda Weather Service will launch its annual Hurricane Awareness Week to help keep the public informed in advance of the hurricane season.

Members of the public are invited to visit www.weather.bm and click on the Hurricane Awareness Week icon for information on hurricane preparation and awareness, as well as briefings on various aspects of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Stormy: The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and is anticipated to be quieter than usual

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Published May 23, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 23, 2014 at 12:37 am)

Slightly quieter hurricane season predicted

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