In its 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report a near- or below-normal hurricane season.
In particular, there is a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season and a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season. The hurricane season begins on June 1 and could bring between 8 and 13 named storms, with up to 6 of them becoming hurricanes.
El Niño is considered a main driver of this year’s forecast and is expected to develop later this summer.
This outlook doesn’t not guarantee that tropical systems will or will not impact the United States, nor does it imply those along the Gulf and Atlantic shorelines should not be prepared.
“It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall to have disastrous impacts on our communities," said Joe Nimmich, FEMA associate administrator for Response and Recovery. “Just last month, Pensacola, Florida saw five inches of rain in 45 minutes – without a tropical storm or hurricane. We need you to be ready.”
Time will tell if these forecasts are correct. USA Today shows that since 2000, federal tropical storm and hurricane forecasts have been hit or miss. These predictions have been accurate in seven of the last 14 years.
NOAA's prediction was too low in five years and too high in two years: 2006 and 2013.