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NOAA now says Atlantic hurricane season will be below average

Cancun, Q.R. — A new update from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a quieter than average hurricane season for the Atlantic.

Their new prediction comes on the heels of an announcement from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, who say ocean heat content levels in the Gulf of Mexico remain at near-record levels, ideal for storm generation.

While they say storms are brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, the NOAA calls for a 60 percent chance of a quieter than average season, a change from their 25 percent prediction in May.

Their latest hurricane forecast now consists of 9 to 13 named storms, 4 to 7 hurricanes and only 2 major hurricanes at most. While they say that conditions in the ocean and the atmosphere are likely to produce a less active Atlantic hurricane season than initially predicted, both the NOAA and FEMA say that peak hurricane season has yet to arrive.

Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for NOAA says, “There are still more storms to come. The hurricane season is far from being over. We urge continued preparedness and vigilance.”

The outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast, they say adding that landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns which are only predictable within a week or so of a storm potentially reaching a coast.

They report that when making the new prediction, several factors were taken into account such as El Nino, which they say is now more likely to develop with enough strength to suppress storm development. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says they’re now forecast a nearly 70 percent likelihood of El Nino during the hurricane season.

In July, meteorologists with Colorado State University also reduced their storm activity prediction for the Atlantic Basin citing cooler-than-normal waters, while Global Weather Oscillations predicted the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season would be busy, comparable to last year.

Regardless of hurricane predictions, one that has stood true was a heat warning in February by local meteorologist Luis Antonio Morales Ocaña, who said that due to climate changes, soaring temperatures for Cancun and Riviera Maya were expected for the summer months.