Feds Predict A Busy Hurricane Season

Buckle your seatbelts — the federal government says we could be in for a very busy hurricane season. Laurie Johnson has details.

The official seasonal outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls for an “active to extremely active” Atlantic hurricane season. The forecast calls for 14-23 named storms that could include up to 14 hurricanes. NOAA says three to seven of those hurricanes could be major storms, with winds of at least 111 miles per hour. John Anderson is a professor of oceanography at Rice University. He says it’s still very hard to predict the number of big storms despite improved forecasting tools. 

“We still though are a long way from being able to be anywhere near precise. There are some years where we predict high numbers and we don’t get them and other years, the opposite. So it is still a very uncertain science, but it’s improving. We should take these warnings seriously. I think there are indications that when NOAA says it’s going to be a bad years, it’s probably going to be worse than normal.”  
NOAA says a weakened El Nino effect could encourage more favorable winds and water temperatures for hurricanes
to form. Warmer water usually is more conducive to the formation of hurricanes. Last year’s hurricane season was
below average, with nine tropical storms and only two major hurricanes. Neither of those storms affected the Texas Gulf Coast. 

hurricane outlook issued in May graphic


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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