The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its official outlook for the 2014 hurricane season.
NOAA is forecasting 8-13 named storms, 3-6 hurricanes and 1-2 major hurricanes.
If the forecast holds true, 2014 will be a below average season. We typically see 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin. The Atlantic basin includes the Atlantic ocean, Gulf of Mexico and
Why below average?
The below average season is expected mainly because of increased wind shear, which is a constant change of wind speed and direction with height.
Tropical systems need a lot of "quiet space" to strengthen in the water. Wind shear disrupts that "quite space" and typically rips apart tropical systems, preventing them from strengthening.
In 2013, we saw 14 named storms in the Atlantic, which was an above average number of named storms. However, only two hurricanes developed, neither of which were major.
What is a named storm?
A tropical, or "named" storm is a tropical system with closed, low-level circulation and winds of at least 39 mph.
A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph. A hurricane becomes a major (category 3) hurricane when winds reach 111 mph.
The 2014 hurricane season begins on June 1 and last until November 30.
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