Home Emergency Management News Hurricane Season Begins: What's in Store for the 2016 Season?

Hurricane Season Begins: What's in Store for the 2016 Season?


NOAA: 45 percent chance of a near-normal hurricane season

Tomorrow, June 1, marks the official start of the 2016 hurricane season. The Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stayed true to its name, publishing a series of predictions for the 2016 season.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, should be relatively normal, according to the NOAA. However, formulating reliable predictions for this upcoming season has been especially difficult, the American scientific agency said, as there is a lot of uncertainty in the climate signals that influence the formation of Atlantic storms.

According to the NOAA, there is a 45 percent chance of a near-normal hurricane season here in 2016. There is an approximate 70 percent chance that 10 to 16 named storms will occur between June 1 and November 30. A named storm must have winds of 39 MPH or above. Additionally, a total of 4 to 8 of the named storms could reach hurricane status -- winds of 74 MPH or above. And of that group, the NOAA is predicting 1 to 4 major hurricanes.

The National Hurricane Center considers any hurricane that reaches maximum sustained 1-minute surface winds of at least 111 MPH as a "major hurricane." All category 3, category 4 and category 5 hurricanes are considered to be major hurricanes.

30 percent chance of an above-normal hurricane season

The next highest probability (30 percent chance) for 2016 is that the U.S. will experience an above-normal hurricane season. On the flip side, there is a 25 percent chance that a below-normal season will occur.

"This is a more challenging hurricane season outlook than most because it’s difficult to determine whether there will be reinforcing or competing climate influences on tropical storm development. "However, a near-normal prediction for this season suggests we could see more hurricane activity than we’ve seen in the last three years, which were below normal." -- link Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

Matt Mills Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.