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Hurricane Season Begins June 1

Now is the time to review USF's 2014 Hurricane Guide.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast a near-normal or below-normal season. The main driver of this year’s outlook is the anticipated development of El Niño this summer. El Niño causes stronger wind shear, which reduces the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes. El Niño can also strengthen the trade winds and increase the atmospheric stability across the tropical Atlantic, making it more difficult for cloud systems coming off of Africa to intensify into tropical storms.

The outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.  For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends November 30, NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 8 to 13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

These numbers are near or below the seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, based on the average from 1981 to 2010. The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast; it does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike. Forecasts for individual storms and their impacts will be provided throughout the season by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

Even though the forecast anticipates a near-normal or below-normal hurricane season, it only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall to have disastrous impacts on our communities.  It is important that you be ready.  Know your risk for hurricanes and severe weather, and take action now to be prepared. USF’s 2014 Hurricane Guide was developed to help you prepare for hurricane season.  You can also learn more about how to prepare for hurricanes at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

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