NOAA forecasts “near normal” hurricane season

NOAA forecasts “near normal” hurricane season
Hurricane Season 2019 (Source: Lauren Linahan)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has just released its outlook for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season.

Forecasters predict a “near normal” season with nine to fifteen named storms, four to eight hurricanes, and two to four major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 or higher.

The National Hurricane Center has a set list of names that are recycled every five years and the letters are alternated by gender each year.

If all the letters are used during one season, the National Hurricane Center will start over with the Greek alphabet.

If a storm is particularly destructive, their name will be retired. This past year, the names Michael and Florence were retired.

The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season was one of the more active years over the past decade with 15 named storms, eight of those hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

Florence and Michael were the most destructive, causing nearly $50 billion in damage.

Hurricane Florence, a slow-moving storm, wreaked havoc on the Carolinas bringing devastating flooding along the coast and farther inland. Tropical storms Alberto and Gordon also brought heavy rain and gusty winds to the Valley, though Hurricane Michael remains the most infamous.

Hurricane Michael broke records as the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Florida panhandle, and the first Category 5 hurricane to strike Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The list of potential hurricane names for 2019 are:

  • Andrea
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dorian
  • Erin
  • Fernand
  • Gabrielle
  • Humberto
  • Imelda
  • Jerry
  • Karen
  • Lorenzo
  • Melissa
  • Nestor
  • Olga
  • Pablo
  • Rebekah
  • Sebastien
  • Tanya
  • Van
  • Wendy

Copyright 2019 WTVM. All rights reserved.