The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season will be less active than in the past 20 years, but still in line with overall averages from 1950 to the present, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.
Eight to 11 named storms should form in 2014 in the Atlantic basin, which includes the entire Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, according to Dr. Lian Xie, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences (MEAS), and collaborators Dr. Montserrat Fuentes, professor of statistics, Marcela Alfaro-Cordoba, graduate research assistant in statistics and Bin Liu, research assistant professor in MEAS. This number is slightly lower than – but within the margin of error for – the (1950-2013) 63-year average of 10.8 named storms.
Of those named storms, four to six may grow strong enough to become hurricanes, and one to three may become major hurricanes.
This year’s numbers for the Gulf are in keeping with historic averages: Xie’s data indicate the likelihood of three to four named storms forming, and one to two becoming hurricanes.
In the Caribbean, Xie’s numbers are as follows: three to five tropical cyclones forming, with one to two becoming hurricanes. In this scenario, the Caribbean may see one major hurricane this season.
Xie’s methodology evaluates data from the last 100 years on Atlantic Ocean hurricane positions and intensity, as well as other variables including weather patterns and sea-surface temperatures, to predict how many storms will form and where they will make landfall.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. For more details concerning Xie’s methodology, input data and predictions, visit the research group’s website at: http://cfdl.meas.ncsu.edu/research/TCoutlook_2014.html.